July 12: More Storms Later Today, Barry Update

Paul Heggen's Weather Blog


Widespread thunderstorms slowly dropped north-to-south across central North Carolina overnight, resulting in flash flooding for Johnston and Wayne counties. Radar-estimated rainfall in those two counties added up to 3 to 6 inches, more than enough to cause significant problems:That rain has now moved out, and our rain chances will remain low for much of the day, until more scattered storms develop late this afternoon and this evening:The HRRR model’s simulation from 10:00am through midnight shows the best chance of more-widespread and heavier storms in our southern counties, from the Sandhills to the southern Coastal Plain:That’s just one version of one forecast model, of course — everyone should keep the umbrella handy for a chance of late-day rain, and be flexible with any outdoor plans. Temperatures will really heat up during our break from the rain:Factor in the humidity, and it will feel like 100° or so:That level of heat and humidity will make that atmosphere unstable, which means there a chance that a storm or two will become severe, especially from the Triangle to the south and east. That’s where the Storm Prediction Center has outlined a “Marginal Risk” of severe weather:That’s the SPC’s lowest category — I’m more concerned about the possibility of heavy rain falling in the same spots that saw too much rain last night and this morning. Either way, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the radar all day…

The weekend will bring us lower chances, but they won’t be zero either. The North American Model’s simulation from noon through midnight Saturday shows the best chance south of the Triangle once again:It will be just as hot, if not a degree or two hotter Saturday afternoon:

Sunday’s rain chances are even lower — in fact, I think most of us will stay dry — but Sunday’s temperatures will be even hotter:The limited rain chances and hot/humid conditions will stick around through the first half of next week, before the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry help to boost our storm chances. Speaking of Barry…


There’s not much else to say about Tropical Storm Barry that I didn’t say in Wednesday’s or Thursday’s blog posts. The latest forecast path from the National Hurricane Center still shows landfall early Saturday, in southern Louisiana as a tropical storm (NOT a hurricane):

But as I’ve been saying all week, the distinction between tropical storm and hurricane status isn’t important with this storm — those classifications are only based on the storm’s maximum sustained wind speeds. Barry’s threat is and always has been associated with the torrential rain that will accompany the storm. The latest rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center (working in conjunction with NHC) shows 20″+ of rain near Morgan City, Louisiana, and 15″+ around Baton Rouge:New Orleans is in the 6″-10″ range, which is still WAY TOO MUCH considering how high the Mississippi River is already running. Unsurprisingly, much of Louisiana is still under a High Risk of flash flooding through the weekend:The storm will weaken and become “post-tropical” by early next week as it moves north and curves east:Eventually it could give us that better chance of rain late next week…that’s still the tail end of the 7-day forecast, so it’s far from locked-in. We’ll keep you updated!

No time for the nerd-links today, since there’s been SO MUCH weather to talk about! The smorgasbord of nerdery will be back on Monday…

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