September 24: ‘Aug-tember’ weather continues

Weather

WEATHER

Yesterday was the official start of autumn, and the high temperature in the Triangle reached 91°.

We won’t be quite that hot today, but temperatures will still end up about 10° above-average.

The good news is that the humidity will be pretty low this afternoon, making it “comfortably warm.” The bad news is that we’ll spend plenty of time in the humid (or worse) range on the Muggy Meter over the next 5 days.

The lack of humidity overnight will allow temperatures to drop to the upper 50s and low 60s.

Temperatures Wednesday will be a degree or two cooler, but we’ll still reach well into the 80s for highs.

Near-record high temperatures are likely from Thursday into early next week. We’ll be closest to record territory Thursday, Sunday and Monday — a pattern that will probably continue into early October.

And if your lawn is getting a bit “crunchy,” you’ll have to break out the sprinkler. VERY low rain chances prevail throughout the 7-day forecast…again, a pattern that will likely continue into early October.

TROPICAL UPDATE

Tropical Storm Karen was downgraded to a tropical depression yesterday, but the system re-intensified overnight — it’s a tropical storm again, with 40 mph sustained winds as of 8:00am.

Karen will track over Puerto Rico today, bringing gusty winds and heavy rain. The storm will slowly strengthen as it tracks to the north through the end of this week.

After that, the exact track is VERY up in the air — Karen will slow, maybe even stall, before taking an eventual westward turn that could bring it towards the Bahamas and the southeastern U.S. coastline next week.

The forecast model data is in good agreement on Karen’s path over the next 72 hours, but after that it’s all over the place. The “spaghetti” plot of each forecast model shows pretty much every possible scenario you could imagine.

On that map, several models show the westward track toward the Bahamas and maybe the United States. If that happens, the “heat dome” parked over the southeastern U.S. would likely keep Karen on a path toward the Florida coast. We’ll keep a close eye on this storm as things (hopefully) come into better focus later this week.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Jerry is actually much closer to us right now, but it’s not going to have any impact on our weather in central North Carolina. Jerry has 60 mph sustained winds as of 5:00am, but the storm is becoming less organized and will weaken over the next 24 hours.

The NHC forecast for Jerry takes it past Bermuda on Wednesday, but as a weak tropical storm. Jerry will merge with a non-tropical storm system later this week as it tracks farther into the North Atlantic.

Finally, we have Tropical Storm Lorenzo, which formed as a depression Sunday night and then became the 12th named storm of the season Monday morning. Lorenzo is in the far eastern Atlantic, with 65 mph sustained winds as of 5:00am.

Lorenzo is still expected to reach hurricane strength today, and become a major Category 3 hurricane before the end of the week. Most forecast data keeps this storm over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, without any threat to land.

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