October 17: Cool Today, Tropical Moisture This Weekend

Paul Heggen's Weather Blog


Mother Nature seems to have finally figured out that it’s autumn — we’ll see plenty of sunshine today, but temperatures will only warm up to the low to mid 60s.

Breezy conditions will prevail throughout the day — not enough for a Wind Advisory, but keep both hands on the wheel.

The wind will relax once the sun goes down this evening, allowing temperatures to drop off quickly. Wear a sweatshirt or jacket if you’re heading out to the first evening of the NC State Fair!

We’ll drop all the way to the low 40s by early Friday morning…a few spots north and west of the Triangle could even dip into the upper 30s.

The wind won’t be as strong tomorrow, so the October sunshine will be able to warm us up to a greater extent…but we’ll end up just a couple degrees warmer than today.

We’re seeing some changes in the weekend forecast — the rain chances are going up, and speeding up a bit.

The moisture is associated with a system trying to get its act together in the Gulf of Mexico this morning. The National Hurricane Center estimates an 80% chance it becomes at least a tropical depression over the next 48 hours, and it could become Tropical (or Sub-Tropical) Storm Nestor.

It’s VERY unlikely to become a hurricane — the threat for the Gulf coast won’t be wind, it will be too much rain. The European forecast model’s simulation shows the storm brushing the bayous of southeast Louisiana, then making landfall in the panhandle of Florida by midday Saturday.

Here in central North Carolina, the wettest time frame will be Saturday night into early Sunday. The European model’s simulation from noon Saturday through noon Sunday shows the rain moving in after sunset Saturday evening, moving out by midday Sunday. The heaviest rain will fall just off to our east.

There’s still a lot that could change, depending on how quickly (and to what extent) this system gets organized. Be flexible with outdoor plans this weekend — right now most of Saturday looks dry, and we should dry out again by Sunday afternoon.

Our rain chances will remain low on Monday, before the next cold front brings in a chance of showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday. It’s still too soon for any severe weather concerns, but we’ll be watching that carefully as well.


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