September 25: From Aug-tember To Hot-tober

Weather

WEATHER

It’s been a generally hot month, and there’s even more heat on the way as we head into the home stretch of September. In fact, it’s almost locked-in that 2019 will be one of the 10 hottest Septembers on record in the Triangle.

Today’s warm-up is being slowed down by some morning clouds…but as the sun breaks through and winds turn to the southwest, we’ll climb well into the 80s this afternoon.

The humidity will be noticeable, but still tolerable. Hooray? I don’t have much good news, with the 5-day Muggy Meter trending toward “humid” or even “gross” conditions by the weekend.

Temperatures tonight will remain warm, only dropping into the 60s by Thursday morning. (Average lows are in the mid to upper 50s.)

Thursday will just be flat-out HOT. Highs will reach the upper 80s and low 90s, our first day of near-record temperatures.

A cold front will try to make its way in from the north late in the day on Thursday. While it won’t bring any “cold” air (or cool air, or refreshing air, or much relief in general), it could squeeze the atmosphere enough to produce some spotty storms. The best chance will be from late afternoon into the evening, but even then they’ll be more miss than hit. The North American Model’s radar simulation from 3pm Thursday through 3am Friday doesn’t give us much to get excited about, but it’s the best chance of rain we’ll see for a while.

Temperatures will back off slightly on Friday in the wake of that cold front, but then it’s right back up to around 90° from Saturday through at least Tuesday of next week. High temperature records will be in jeopardy once again.

With the humidity climbing as well, I can’t rule out the chance of a pop-up shower or thunderstorm each afternoon/evening. But our rain chances won’t increase significantly until the whole big-picture weather pattern changes late next week.

TROPICAL UPDATE

Tropical Storm Jerry is now a “post-tropical” system — the center of circulation is approaching Bermuda, but all of the storm activity has been stripped away from the center. The storm will continue to merge with other systems over the North Atlantic over the next few days, although Jerry’s remnants could impact how Karen behaves to the south.

Tropical Storm Karen moved over Puerto Rico last night, bringing heavy rain and gusty winds. Karen’s center of circulation is now moving to the north, although the storm overall is pretty disorganized. As of 11:00am, Karen’s maximum sustained winds are 45 mph.

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast for Karen shows it slowly strengthening as it tracks to the north through the end of this week.

However, Karen will have to battle some unfavorable conditions as it makes its way north. Ocean temperatures are still modestly warm, but Karen’s path takes it over water that was churned up by Jerry just a few days ago.

More significantly, an area of high wind shear (red lines on the next map) will travel into Karen’s path (white arrow I’ve drawn). High wind shear disrupts a tropical system’s ability to become better organized, which limits how much the storm can intensify.

If Karen can survive those conditions, the NHC’s forecast shows the storm stalling, turning briefly to the southeast, then looping back over its own path and accelerating to the west early next week.

That’s a path that could take the storm toward the Bahamas or even the southeastern coast of the U.S., but the forecast data for Karen is still muddled. The “spaghetti plot” of forecast model scenarios shows some that follow the NHC track to the west, and some that keep Karen wandering around in the Atlantic.

It’s about a week away from threatening land, even if follows that westward path. We’ll keep a close eye on it, of course…but we’re watching it, not worrying about it.

Finally, we have Hurricane Lorenzo, in the far eastern Atlantic, with 85 mph sustained winds as of 1:00am. Lorenzo is the healthiest looking of the three storms and has the highest intensity forecast over the next five days.

Lorenzo is expected to become a major Category 3 hurricane already tomorrow. Almost all of the forecast data keeps this storm over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, without any threat to land.

LINKS

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