Friday, September 29, 2006

Stormy Thursday Night

Thursday was a very busy night in the Weather on the Ones forecast center as we tracked strong to severe storms that moved across much of the state. There were several reports of wind damage and hail from the Triad to the Triangle to the Sandhills.

One of our News 14 Carolina viewers, Mike Shumate, sent us these photos as the storms approached Hillsborough.

If you ever have any weather pictures to share with the Weather on the Ones team, you can always e-mail us at

We don't have to worry about any severe weather this weekend. Look for a beautiful weekend including a cool Saturday morning. Lows should drop to the low to mid 40s across the region by early Saturday.

Out in western North Carolina, some mountain communities could see scattered frost Saturday morning as lows there drop into the 30s. A Frost Advisory is in effect for locations around Cherokee, Waynesville, Sylva, and Franklin. Fall is here!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Isaac... that's a name that many weather enthusiasts associate with the devastating hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas in 1900. Isaac was not the name of the storm, but the name of a meteorologist that worked for the weather bureau on Galveston Island. Isaac Cline has become well known because of a book by Erik Larson titled Isaac's Storm.

If you enjoy reading a good book and you are into weather, you may want to check this one out. Here are a few links with more information --

Today a tropical storm named Isaac formed from Tropical Depression #9 in the Atlantic. This storm will be nothing like that 1900 storm known as "Isaac's Storm." Tropical Storm Isaac should stay away from land as it moves toward the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic this weekend. For the latest track and coordinates, tune in for our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Two Years Since Hurricane Jeanne

You probably don't need me to point out the fact that the tropics have been much quieter this year than the last two. It was two years ago today that the remnants of Hurricane Jeanne caused problems in North Carolina.

Jeanne made landfall in Florida, and its remnants later tracked across portions of North Carolina. The storm produced tornadoes in the state including tornadoes in Moore and Wake Counties.

You can take a look back at Jeanne and its effects on North Carolina by clicking to the following link --

Two years after Jeanne, the tropics are fairly quiet this Thursday. There are no active systems at this time, but the National Hurricane Center is watching a disturbance 850 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.

There is still time for tropical systems to form in the Atlantic. The season continues until the end of November. For the latest on the tropics, tune to our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Friday, September 22, 2006

17 Years Ago -- Hurricane Hugo

It was 17 years ago that the Carolinas woke up to the destruction of Hurricane Hugo. The category 4 hurricane made landfall near Bull's Bay, South Carolina on the night of September 21. The tracked across South Carolina toward Charlotte during the early morning hours of September 22. Hugo was still a category 1 hurricane when it moved across Charlotte. According to information from the National Weather Service, Hurricane Hugo caused $7 billion in damage in the United States.

You can take a look back at the storm through the following links:

Ocean Cooling?

With global warming being a hot topic these days, you may find this interesting: Some of the latest information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows ocean waters may have been cooling in the last few years.

You can read more about this at the following link --

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Taste of Fall

Did you wear a jacket early this morning? We certainly had a little preview of fall weather early this Thursday morning with lows in the upper 40s to low 50s. Here's a look at some of the morning lows from around the region --

  • Sanford: 45
  • Louisburg: 46
  • Southern Pines: 47
  • Raleigh-Durham: 47
  • Henderson-Oxford: 48
  • Erwin: 48
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 48
  • Chapel Hill: 49
  • Goldsboro: 50
  • Lumberton: 51
  • Fayetteville: 52

It may have felt like fall this morning, but it is still officially summer. Autumn will arrive early Saturday at 12:03am. We actually look for a warm-up for the first couple days of fall. Highs should reach the mid 80s for Saturday and Sunday.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hot Summer

Seem like a hot summer this year? It was across much of the United States. NOAA reports that it has been the second warmest summer on record. You can read more about the hot summer at this link --

In Raleigh, we never reached 100 degrees, but we did come close. The high topped out at 99 two days this summer -- August 3 and 29.

Autumn officially arrives this coming Saturday, but we may have a taste of fall before that. A cold front will move through North Carolina bring showers and thunderstorms to our region Tuesday. Behind that front, look for a cool down. Morning lows could drop to near 50 by Thursday morning. Upper 40s aren't out of the question.

We'll keep you posted with the latest forecast. When you need a quick weather update this week, remember you are never more than 10 minutes away from Weather on the Ones on News 14 Carolina!

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Great Weekend!

Wednesday and Thursday brought dreary conditions across much of North Carolina. For rain totals from around the region from these days, click to

Luckily, those dreary conditions broke just in time for the weekend. Today was a beautiful weather day, and we look for pleasant weather through the weekend. We will likely see a few more clouds Saturday, but that shouldn't hamper your outdoor plans. Our next chance for rain will come Tuesday as a front moves toward North Carolina.

There's not too much to be concerned about this weekend in the tropics either. We are watching two storms --

Hurricane Gordon:

Tropical Storm Helene:

Gordon will move to the northeast and will likely weaken into a tropical storm over the next couple of days. On the other hand, Helene should become a hurricane this weekend but will not threaten land over the next several days. It appears that Helene may take a turn keeping the storm harmlessly out to sea next week. However, until that turn is made, we will need to closely watch this one. As always, you can easily find out what's happening in the tropics this weekend by tuning into our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Fortunately, this hurricane season has been much quieter than the last two. Of course, the season isn't over until the end of November, but so far, this year has not met the initial forecasts of an active season. Why is this? There is now speculation that El Nino conditions are developing. During an El Nino year, we typically see fewer hurricanes and tropical storms. You can read more about this by clicking to

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

More from the Tropics

Still watching a couple of systems in the tropics.... Neither pose an immediate threat to land.

In fact, while Hurricane Gordon has become the first major hurricane of the season, it appears that it will not impact any land masses.
Major hurricanes are defined as hurricanes that are classified as category 3 or higher. As of Thursday afternoon, Gordon is a category 3 storm with winds around 120mph. The hurricane is moving to the north-northeast toward cooler ocean waters. Look for gradual weakening over the next couple of days.

Farther out in the Atlantic, tropical depression #8 became Tropical Storm Helene late Wednesday night.

Helene is now moving to the west, but we look for a more northwesterly turn over the next day or two. The National Hurricane Center forecasts Helene to become a hurricane this weekend. It does appear Helene may be another "fish storm", that is a storm that does not affect land. However, it is still too early to say that with 100% certainty.
We'll keep you posted with our tropical updates at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina. You can also check out the National Hurricane Center online at

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Active Tropics

We are in the time of the year that is typically the peak of hurricane season, and the tropics are fairly active this week. Luckily, none of the storms are posing an immediate threat to land.

With Florence becoming extratropical, there are still two systems to watch.

Hurricane Gordon has gained strength this Wednesday and could become a category 2 hurricane within the next 24 hours. Gordon is moving to the north and should pass well to the east of Bermuda. This would keep Gordon away from any land areas. Gordon will not pose any threat to the U.S.

The other system we are watching is Tropical Depression #8....

This one is a long ways away from the United States. In fact, it is just to the west of the African coast. Tropical Depression #8 is moving west and could become a tropical storm within the next day or two. At that point, it would be given the name "Helene" Eventually, the storm would take a more northwesterly path late in the week or weekend when it could become a hurricane. It is too early to say whether or not this would ever threaten the U.S., so stay tuned...

Stay informed on the tropics with our tropical updates at :21 past the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Closer to home, it is a dreary Wednesday in central North Carolina. With cloudy skies and rain moving into the area at midday, temperatures are holding steady in the mid to upper 60s. We don't expect temperatures to get any warmer through the afternoon. In fact, temperatures should hold fairly steady in the 60s overnight and into Thursday morning.

If you don't like the dreary weather, brighter conditions will be on tap for the weekend. Something to look forward to!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Tracking Florence and Looking for Cooler Weather in NC

A big weather story for the first of the week will be Hurricane Florence. As the National Hurricane Center has been forecasting for the last several days, this will not be a big story for the United States, but it will be for Bermuda.Florence should move across or very close to Bermuda late Sunday night through the first half of the day Monday. If you are interested in weather conditions in Bermuda during the storm, here are some websites with more information --

Elsewhere in the tropics, there is another area of "interest" just southeast of Florence.

The National Hurricane Center said Sunday evening the disturbance southeast of Florence could become a tropical depression late Sunday night or Monday. For the latest, be sure to catch our tropical updates at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Outside of the tropics, we have an interesting weather pattern setting up for the new week.
That is a forecast map from the NAM computer model, just one of the computer models we use to forecast weather. This model typically does well forecasting the weather pattern we look to be in for the new week. Notice the high pressure building over the northeastern U.S. That high pressure will bring northeasterly winds (cooler air) into North Carolina.

As I mentioned in the previous blog post, this is something meteorologists call "cold air damming" because this cooler air wedges into the state damming up against the Appalachians. This pattern often brings dreary weather conditions. Cold air damming should begin to set up on Monday. In central North Carolina, we should see partly sunny skies by afternoon with highs in the upper 70s to near 80. Mostly cloudy skies can be expected for Tuesday with highs in the mid to upper 70s. Then look for light rain showers or drizzle on Wednesday with highs in the low to mid 70s.

Cold air damming, or "the wedge", is probably one of the most difficult weather features to forecast in North Carolina. We'll continue to monitor the latest weather data coming into our forecast center, and you can look for the latest weather updates in our Weather on the Ones Forecasts on News 14 Carolina.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tracking Florence This Weekend and Looking for Dreary Weather Next Week

We are looking for quiet weather this weekend in central North Carolina, but we'll be watching a couple of weather systems from the Weather on the Ones Forecast Center.

The first is in the tropics --
Tropical Storm Florence did not strengthen during the day Friday, but it remains a very large tropical storm. The 5pm advisory from the National Hurricane Center stated tropical storm force winds (40mph and greater) extended up to 375 miles from the storm's center.

It still appears that Florence will become a hurricane this weekend and the system is on track to take a more northerly turn. That turn will keep Florence away from the U.S. coastline, but the news isn't so good for Bermuda. Florence will pass over or near Bermuda with hurricane force winds late Sunday into Monday.

Closer to home, look for some "fine tuning" for our forecast for next week as a complex weather pattern may setup over the Mid-Atlantic and the Carolinas.

Above is a forecast weather map for Monday night/Tuesday morning from the GFS computer model. Notice the 'H' representing high pressure over the northeast. Winds flow clockwise around a high pressure and that will bring winds from the northeast into North Carolina. To our northeast, of course, we find the Atlantic Ocean and cooler, moist air. That cooler air will push into our state and likely "wedge" against the Appalachian Mountains.

This is a weather pattern meteorologists call "cold air damming", because the mountains act like a dam on a lake damming up the cooler air. Cold air damming, or the "wedge" is a tricky pattern to forecast for in North Carolina. In the winter time, this pattern sometimes puts us on the edge between a cold and damp winter day and a cold and icy winter day. Obviously, this is only September, and it won't be that cold next week. We may see cooler and dreary days next week though. Afternoon temperatures may hang in the 70s. Normal highs are in the low to mid 80s this time of year.

As I mentioned, this is a tricky weather pattern to forecast. We'll keep you up to date with Weather on the Ones updates this weekend on News 14 Carolina only on Time Warner Cable!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

NC Drought Update and a Look at Florence

The latest drought monitor map for the state of North Carolina was released today --
The yellow shading indicates "abnormally dry" conditions. The darker shading represents a "moderate drought." The previous drought monitor had portions of the Triangle under a moderate drought. Tropical Storm Ernesto and other recent rainfalls helped with that. In fact, the Raleigh-Durham Airport is well ahead of normal for the month and year now thanks to heavy rains from late Monday night and Tuesday morning. RDU now has a surplus of over 4" for the year.

In other weather news today, we continue to track Tropical Storm Florence -- The storm did not strengthen during the day Thursday, but is still forecast to become a hurricane by early in the weekend. Computer models are in agreement that Florence will take a more northerly turn this weekend keeping the storm away from the U.S. coastline. That is good news for us and bad news for Bermuda, which could be right in the storm's path Monday.
I would encourage you to stay informed with the latest track on Florence, especially until it takes this forecasted turn. As always, you can tune in for our tropical updates at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ten Years Since Fran; Today: Tracking Florence

Ten years ago, North Carolina residents from the coast to the Triangle were beginning the clean up process after Hurricane Fran. That hurricane is just one example of how tropical systems don't only affect the coast. Over 1.7 million homes in North Carolina lost electricity in the storm. Wake County alone reported $900 million in damage to residential and commerical property.

The National Weather Service in Raleigh has an excellent website looking back at Fran and how it impacted central North Carolina. Check it out by clicking to

Ten years after Fran, we are tracking another storm that begins with the letter "F." This one is called Florence

North Carolina doesn't have a good history when it comes to tropical systems with a name that begins with F. Fran is just one example. Floyd is another. Right now, it appears that Florence will not go down in history as one of these bad "F" storms for North Carolina. Most computer models are in agreement that Florence will take a turn later this weekend keeping it out to sea.

Keep in mind, tropical storms and hurricanes don't always follow the path forecasted. We'll have to watch this one closely until it makes the forecasted turn.

While that turn may be good for the Carolina coast, it may not be so good for Bermuda. Take a look at the official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center as of the 5pm Wednesday advisory --
The NHC is forecasting Florence to become a hurricane during the day Thursday and to become a category 3 hurricane late in the weekend. We'll keep you posted with tropical updates at :21 after the hour every hour on News 14 Carolina. You can also find the latest forecasts from the National Hurricane Center at

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Florence Makes Six...

Named tropical systems so far in 2006. As of the 11am advisory on September 5 winds in a flare up of convection were estimated near 40 mph. It's going to take some time, but Florence is on the way to becoming the second hurricane of the season.

Now, the forecast track brings this system closer to the U.S. by early next week. Most short range computer models bring Florence toward the U.S. Coast and the longer range models turn it out to sea. This is not a final forecast and will change. I think it will be interesting to see how Florence evolves this week and whether or not we'll be talking about Florence as a strike threat to our coast lines late next week.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ernesto is Gone; Is Florence Developing Now?

The National Hurricane Center has classified the area of thunderstorms between the coast of Africa and the Windward Islands as a tropical depression this Sunday evening. Officially, it is Tropical Depression #6 and it could strengthen into Tropical Storm Florence late tonight or Monday.

Above is the forecast track from the 5pm Sunday advisory. Obviously, this system is a long way from impacting land. The tropical depression is now on a northwesterly track, but look for a more westerly track by midweek as a ridge builds across the Atlantic. The NHC brings this to a category one hurricane by the end of the work week. It is way too early to say where this will go beyond 5 days. If it were to come close to the U.S., it is at least a week or more away.

Track the storm with us by tuning into our tropical updates at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina. You can also find more online at

Saturday, September 02, 2006

More Ernesto Stats

Most of central North Carolina missed the heaviest rains from Ernesto. Others areas weren't so lucky. Here's an updated look at Ernesto rainfall totals --

  • Virginia Beach, VA: 10.43"
  • Leonardtown, MD: 10.08"
  • Norfolk, VA: 10.00"
  • Grifton, NC: 9.85"
  • Wilmington, NC: 9.58"

Click here for a look at central North Carolina rainfall from Ernesto.

Click here for a look at central North Carolina wind gusts from Ernesto.

Ernesto continues to move to the north this Saturday evening headed for the Great Lakes and portions of Canada. Our weather was simply beautiful today. I can't imagine any better weather for tailgating and catching the first college football games of the season!

Now that Ernesto is gone, is there anything else to be concerned about in the tropics?

We're watching a couple of tropical waves coming off the coast of Africa. There is potential for slow tropical development in this region over the next couple of days. We'll have tropical updates at :21 after the hour through the Labor Day weekend on News 14 Carolina, so stay tuned!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Ernesto Peak Wind Gusts in Central North Carolina

More information coming on Ernesto... The National Weather Service just released a list of peak wind gusts from the storm around central North Carolina.

  • Seymour Johnson Air Force: 53mph
  • Fayetteville: 48mph
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson:46mph
  • Goldsboro: 45mph
  • Fort Bragg: 40mph
  • Louisburg: 39mph
  • Henderson: 39mph
  • Erwin: 39mph
  • Raleigh-Durham: 37mph
  • Pope Air Force Base: 36mph
  • Chapel Hill: 35mph
  • Southern Pines: 29mph

Goodbye Ernesto, Hello Labor Day Weekend!

Tropical Storm Ernesto made landfall around 11:30pm Thursday night near Long Beach, North Carolina. The National Hurricane Center estimates the storm had sustained winds around 70mph at landfall, just below hurricane strength. There was at least one unofficial report of a 76mph wind gust at Rodanthe along the Outer Banks.

Ernesto weakened as it moved inland and was downgraded to a tropical depression by 11am Friday morning. The storm caused some spotty wind damage across the News 14 Carolina viewing area. We have received a few reports of downed trees and powerlines. You can see storm photos from the storm sent in by our viewers below this blog post. If you have any photos to share, send an e-mail to

The heavy rains associated with Ernesto stayed mainly east of I-95. Luckily, the News 14 Carolina viewing area was spared from flooding rains. Here's a look at rain totals from Thursday and Friday from around the state --

  • Grifton: 9,85"
  • Wilmington: 9.58"
  • Kinston: 9.57"
  • Wallace: 8.00"
  • Richlands: 7.06"
  • Greenville: 6.96"
  • New Bern: 5.60"
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 3.55"
  • Goldsboro: 2.89"
  • Fayetteville: 2.11"
  • Raleigh-Durham: 1.41"

The remnants of Ernesto will continue to move to the north taking heavy rains through the Mid-Atlantic states Friday afternoon and evening. Weather conditions should improve across central North Carolina into the weekend as we all prepare for the Labor Day holiday.

If you've got outdoor plans this weekend, like one of the area's college football games (Go Wolfpack!), the weather should not be too much of a problem. We will have to keep an eye out for a few storms to pop-up in the afternoon.

Another Ernesto Photo

Heavy rains created some minor flooding of small streams near Wilson. Photo from Sharon Carr.

E-mail your weather photos to

Ernesto Damage Photos

While most of the News 14 Carolina viewing area has been spared from any widespread damage, rains and gusty winds did down a few trees and powerlines. Here's a look at some photos sent to us by News 14 Carolina viewers. You can always e-mail us your weather photos to
Tree down near Westover Avenue in Wilson. Photo from Sharon Carr.

Tree down near Goldsboro. Photo from Brad Jenkins.