Sunday, April 29, 2007

Air Quality Forecasts

As we head toward the warmer months of the year, it's ozone forecast season again. The North Carolina Division of Air Quality set Monday, April 30 as the first day for their air quality forecasts this year. In the Triangle and the Sandhills, air quality forecasts are issued for ground-level ozone.

Ozone is not always a bad thing. In the highest levels of the atmosphere, stratospheric ozone protects us from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. Ozone near the ground level is not so helpful. Ground-level ozone is produced by pollution from cars and industrial sources. This pollution in high levels can affect those with respiratory problems.

The North Carolina Division of Air Quality issues their forecasts based on a color code -- green, yellow, orange, red, and purple. In order, those colors represent good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy for everyone, and very unhealthy levels of ozone.

Ozone levels are typically higher on hot summer afternoons when the air becomes stagnant and locks in pollution. With warmer weather in the forecast for this week, the first forecast for Monday calls for a code yellow day, or moderate levels of ozone for both the Triangle and the Sandhills. In their forecast discussion Sunday afternoon, the Division of Air Quality indicated that a code orange forecast made be needed for Tuesday for some metropolitan areas in the state.

You can find the latest air quality forecasts by tuning to News 14 Carolina. We'll have the latest ozone forecasts in our Weather on the Ones reports airing at :11 and :41 after the hour.

Follow these links to find out more about ozone and air quality forecasts --

Spring Heat Wave

It has been an almost perfect weekend when it comes to the weather -- plenty of sunshine with highs in the mid 70s Saturday and near 80 on Sunday. The quiet weather will continue for the first couple days of the work week, but it will be much warmer. Afternoon temperatures should soar into the upper 80s Monday afternoon and near 90 on Tuesday. Late April and early April typically brings afternoon temperatures in the mid 70s, so the next couple of days will certainly feel more like summer.

Tuesday looks to be the warmest day we have had all season. In fact, the last time the high temperature reached 90 or higher was August 30, 2006 when the high was 94. Tuesday may also come close to setting a record. The record high for May 1 at the Raleigh-Durham is 90.

A front will slide into the state Wednesday, and that should bring an end to the early week heat wave by the end of the week. We'll be ahead of the front during the day Wednesday, so it will be warm again with highs in the mid 80s. Temperatures will return closer to normal levels for this time of year for Thursday and Friday. That front should also bring our next chance for rain in the form of afternoon showers and thunderstorms on Wednesday.

Stay with News 14 Carolina this week for the latest forecasts. You can count on our Weather on the Ones updates every 10 minutes!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Coming to NC: Hurricane Awareness Tour

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is bringing their Hurricane Awareness Tour to Elizabeth City, North Carolina this Thursday, May 3. A p3 Hurricane Hunter aircraft will be one of the features on display on Thursday. That is one of the planes that is flown into hurricane to obtain crucial data for forecasting.
The event is free and open to the public. The new director of the National Hurricane Center along with meteorologists from the National Weather Service will be on hand to answer your questions about the upcoming hurricane season.
For more information on the Hurricane Awareness Tour in Elizabeth City, check out this link (.pdf file):

Friday, April 27, 2007

Slightly Cooler, But Still Warm This Weekend

Thursday was another summer-like day with highs back in the mid 80s --
  • Fayetteville: 87
  • Goldsboro: 87
  • Laurinburg-Maxton: 87
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 87
  • Lumberton: 86
  • Southern Pines: 86
  • Raleigh-Durham: 85
  • Louisburg: 84
  • Chapel Hill: 83

Temperatures won't be quite as warm this weekend as we look for highs in the mid to upper 70s. That's still near to just above normal for this time of year. Highs in the 80s return for next week. By Tuesday, afternoon temperatures may climb as high as the upper 80s to even near 90 in some spots.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Summer in April?

Air conditioning was in order Wednesday has highs soared to the mid to upper 80s in some spots. Here's a look back at Wednesday's high temperatures --
  • Erwin: 88
  • Fayetteville: 88
  • Goldsboro : 88
  • Southern Pines: 88
  • Laurinburg: 87
  • Raleigh-Durham: 87
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 87
  • Louisburg: 86
  • Lumberton: 86
  • Chapel Hill: 85
  • Henderson-Oxford: 84

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quiet and Warm

Lots of folks are breaking out the t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops with our summer-like temperatures here in April. In deed, temperatures so far this week have been near summer levels. Highs in the mid 80s are the average highs for early and mid-June in central North Carolina. Our normal highs in mid to late April are in the mid 70s.

Afternoon highs will briefly drop to the upper 70s for the weekend, but the 80s should return for next week.

In addition to staying warm, our forecast remains fairly dry. The chances for a good soaking rainfall are slim to none over the next several days. There is at least a slight chance for a few scattered showers and thunderstorms late Thursday and Friday, but we do not anticipate any widespread rains.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

NC State Forecasters Predict an Active Hurricane Season for 2007

There is an 86% chance a tropical storm or hurricane will strike somewhere along the southeast coast from Florida to North Carolina. That's the forecast for 2007 from the North Carolina State University Tropical Cyclone Prediction Team released to News 14 Carolina Wednesday evening. The forecast team led by Lian Xie and Elinor Keith predicts a 74% probablility of at least one hurricane striking the southeast coast and a 10% chance that a major hurricane (category 3 or stronger) will strike the southeast coast.

The news is even worse for the Gulf coast. The NC State forecast says a landfalling tropical cyclone is "virtually guranteed" along the Gulf coast with a 99.8% probability. The team predicts a 75% chance for a hurricane to strike the Gulf coast and a 56% the a major hurricane will strike the area.

The forecast is better for the northeast coastline defined as the area from Virginia to Maine. Only a 24% chance for a landfalling tropical system is predicted for that region.

Here's a breakdown of the full NC State forecast --

Atlantic Basin (Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean)
  • 12-13 tropical storms
  • 8-9 hurricanes
  • 4-5 major hurricanes

Southeast Coast (Southern tip of Florida to North Carolina)

  • 1-3 landfalling tropical cyclones (86% probability for at least one tropical cyclone to make landfall)
  • 1-2 landfalling hurricanes (74% probability for at least one hurricane to make landfall)

Gulf of Mexico Coast (All U.S. Gulf Coast including west coast of Florida)

  • 5-7 tropical cyclones in the Gulf basin with 4-6 tropical cyclones to make landfall (99.8% probability for at least one tropical cyclone making landfall)
  • 2-3 hurricanes in the Gulf basin with 1-2 hurricanes to make landfall (75% probability for at least one hurricane making landfall)
  • 0-1 major hurricanes in the Gulf basin (56% probability for at least one major hurricane making landfall)

Northeast Coast (Virginia to Maine)

  • most likely no landfalling tropical systems along this stretch of coast with only a 24% probability for a landfalling tropical cyclone and a 5% chance for a landfalling hurricane

The NC State hurricane forecast teams points out that their forecast is only experimental and urges users to use caution using the forecast and that forecast users should take full responsibility for any potential risks from using the forecast. The team also states, "Hurricane prediction is not an exact science and large errors are known in such forecasts."

Peak Wind Gusts from Monday

Thanks to the big Nor'Easter earlier this week, tropical storm force wind gusts were reported across our region on Monday. Many folks lost power as the strong winds toppled trees and power lines. Here's a look back at peak wind gusts from Monday from around central North Carolina --

  • Greensboro: 62mph
  • Winston-Salem: 56mph
  • Lexington: 54mph
  • Burlington: 54mph
  • Duke Forest: 53mph
  • Fort Bragg: 51mph
  • Franklinton: 50mph
  • Goldsboro: 50mph
  • Fayetteville: 48mph
  • Raleigh-Durham: 48mph
  • Chapel Hill: 46mph
  • Asheboro: 45mph
  • Pope Air Force Base: 44mph
  • Southern Pines: 43mph
  • Louisburg: 36mph

You can see viewer photos from Monday's windy weather in the previous blog post. If you ever have weather photos to share with us, you can email them to

Monday, April 16, 2007

Monday, Blowing on By...

A High Wind Warnings is in effect through the rest of this evening.

A deepening area of low pressure was slowly moving over North Carolina yesterday and brought with it heavy rain and severe storms. Now, even though this system has climbed up the East Coast we are still being dealt a difficult blow as winds are reaching 25-35 mph and gusts as high as 45-50.

These winds have been strong enough to uproot trees and shut down power across the state. Here are some pictures sent in to illustrate what can happen when heavy rain makes the ground soggy and strong winds knock down trees rooted in this soggy ground.

We expect winds to begin to relax once we reach tomorrow afternoon. Before then winds will range from 25-35 with higher gusts.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

More Storm Photos

Hail photos from Rolesville on Sunday evening. Photos submitted by News 14 Carolina viewer Tabitha Daniels.

You can send your weather photos to us by e-mailing

Sunday Storm Photos

Hail near Youngsville Sunday afternoon. Photo from News 14 Carolina viewer Suzanne Gardner.

Viewer photo of a tree down along Mal Weathers Road near Garner. Photo from News 14 Carolina viewer Cameron Feaster.

Above two photos of storm clouds over Wake County from News 14 Carolina viewer Michelle Pepper.

Thanks to all our viewers who sent us reports and photos this weekend. If you have weather photos to share with us, send your pictures to

Sunday -- Late Afternoon

Severe weather threat may continue into the evening. All of our region is under a Tornado Watch through 8pm. Find the latest information on News 14 Carolina on Time Warner Cable.

We've received several picutres of hail around the area this afternoon and hope to have those posted later this evening on our weather blog. You can send your weather reports and pictures to

Sunday -- Early Afternoon Update

A Tornado Watch has now been posted for much of central North Carolina through 8pm Sunday evening. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for Weather on the Ones updates through the afternoon for the latest.

You can send send severe weather reports and photos from your neighborhood to us by e-mailing us at

Sunday -- Morning Update

A Tornado Watch has been posted from the Triangle to the south and east until 3pm Sunday afternoon. The atmosphere remains unstable across central and eastern North Carolina this morning. Strong to severe storms are still a possibility into the afternoon hours.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest advisories.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday -- Late Evening Update

Showers and thunderstorms will continue to spread across the Carolinas through the early morning hours Sunday. While we do not anticipate widespread severe weather, a few strong thunderstorms my be embedded with the rain showers that will across the region.

The Storm Prediction Center still has central and eastern North Carolina under a "slight risk" for severe weather --
If strong storms develop, damaging winds will be the biggest threat. Heavy rains may be a threat for some spots as well. While we could use a good soaking rain, heavy rain falling too fast may produce some flooding issues. The National Weather Service has posted a Flood Watch through 6am for the central part of the state. Two to three inches of rain is possible in the watch area. Elsewhere, one to inches of rain is possible.

The Weather on the Ones Forecast Center will be staffed through the early morning hours to keep you informed. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest.

Saturday -- Early Evening Update

Quiet weather is still holding on during the early evening hours here in central North Carolina, but it appears that will change late tonight. As I post this blog entry, strong to severe storms are rumbling across Alabama and Georgia. This storm system will move into the Carolinas over the next few hours.

We may see a few scattered shower or thunderstorms this evening, but the strongest storms and heaviest rains should arrive after 11pm and continue through the early morning Sunday. The National Weather Service has posted a Flood Watch across central North Carolina from midnight through 6am. In the News 14 Carolina viewing area, that watch includes areas from the Triangle to the Triad.

News 14 Carolina will carry tonight's Bobcats basketball game against the Bucks at 8:30pm. We'll have forecast updates at the bottom of your TV screen during the game. You can also catch weather updates during halftime and immediately following the game. Plus, you'll find the latest radar views from around the region on our weather page at

Saturday -- Midday Update

The same storm system that produced severe weather over the south-central United States on Friday is now marching across the southeast. The above image from the Storm Prediction Center shows the severe weather reports received Friday. The green dots represent reports of large hail, the blue dots represent wind damage reports, and the red dots indicate tornado reports.

Severe weather is likely today in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, and that threat could shift into the Carolinas tonight. The Storm Prediction Center has placed an area from the Gulf Coast into South Carolina under a "moderate risk" for severe weather. Central and eastern North Carolina is now under a "slight risk" for severe weather.
While the greatest threat for severe storms will remain to our south, we cannot not rule out a few strong to severe storms overnight. Some of the strongest storms in our area could occur while most people are asleep. Make sure your weather radio is on standby mode tonight just in case severe weather develops. Also, stay tuned to News 14 Carolina. We'll have Weather on the Ones updates through the night. You can also find updated radar views on and we'll have occasional updates here on on Weather on the Ones blog.

If you have questions about tonight's threat for severe storms or if storms occur in your neighborhood tonight and you would like to let us know, leave us a comment in the comment section below or send an e-mail to

Friday, April 13, 2007

Big Storm Brewing

A big storm is brewing this Friday that will impact much of the United States from today through the weekend and into early next week.

Today the storm is producing snow in Colorado, rain in Oklahoma, and severe weather is likely from East Texas into Louisiana and Arkansas. In fact, a fairly significant severe weather outbreak is a possibility late this afternoon and evening. The Storm Prediction Center has placed part of that area under a "moderate risk" for severe weather.

On Saturday that "moderate risk" of severe weather shifts to parts of the Southeast --

Tornadoes, hail, and damaging thunderstorm winds are possible within the moderate risk areas both Friday and Saturday.

The storm system will then move toward the Carolinas bringing us rain late Saturday night into early Sunday morning. While the risk for severe weather is not nearly as high for us, a few strong storms cannot be ruled out. We'll follow the storm through the weekend and have the latest with Weather on the Ones updates on News 14 Carolina. When you are away from your TV this weekend, you can find updates here on our weather blog and on our website at

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Much Needed Rain

Wednesday's dreary weather and a round of thunderstorms that moved across central North Carolina early morning brought some much needed rain to the region.

Here's a look at selected rain totals from Wednesday through early Thursday:
  • Greensboro: 2.05"
  • Raleigh-Durham: 1.66'
  • Winston-Salem: 1.35"
  • Chapel Hill: 1.29"
  • Asheboro: 1.22"
  • Fayetteville: 1.19"
  • Burlington: 0.78"
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 0.80"
  • Mount Airy: 0.66"
  • Clayton: 0.64"
  • Goldsboro: 0.60"
  • Lumberton: 0.36"

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter's Record Cold

Record low temperatures were set all across North Carolina this Easter Sunday morning. Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte, Asheville, and Wilmington all broke the previous records held for April 8.

Here's a look at morning lows this Sunday around the News 14 Carolina viewing area:
  • Southern Pines: 21
  • Lumberton: 22
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 23
  • Asheboro: 25
  • Greensboro: 25
  • Mount Airy: 25
  • Smithfield: 25
  • Chapel Hill: 26
  • Goldsboro: 26
  • Fayetteville: 27
  • Louisburg: 27
  • Raleigh-Durham: 27
  • Burlington: 28
  • Winston-Salem: 29

Thursday, April 05, 2007

From Record Highs to Record Lows...

It was just over a week ago that we were setting record highs across central North Carolina. Instead of record highs, we may actually set record lows this Easter weekend. Morning lows should drop to the mid to upper 20s for both Saturday and Sunday morning.

Here's a look at the numbers to watch this weekend --

For Raleigh-Durham:
  • Saturday record low -- 27 in 2002
  • Sunday record low -- 28 in 1975

For Greensboro --

  • Saturday record low -- 24 in 1982
  • Sunday record low -- 28 in 1990

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Active Hurricane Season?

You've probably seen or read news reports the past few days proclaiming that we have another active hurricane season this year. That is the prediction of well known forecasters at Colorado State University led by Phillip Klotzbach and William Gray. Their updated forecast released Tuesday calls for 17 named storms in the Atlantic basin in the 2007 season. Nine of those are expected to become hurricanes with 5 major (category 3 or higher) hurricanes expected.

The number of storms during a season does not really tell us how coastal locations can be impacted. Seventeen storms could form and all of them could stay out to sea. Then again, fewer storms could form and they could all impact land. Other information from the Colorado State forecast does predict the probability of landfall. The updated forecast calls for a 74% chance that a major hurricane will strike somewhere along the United States coastline. The forecasters say there is a 50% chance a major hurricane would strike the east coast of the United States.

It is important to remember that this is just a forecast. Many forecasts released before the 2006 season called for an active season. In the end, last year was quieter than expected. Of course, it was only two years ago when the season set a record for the number of storms that formed. That was the hurricane season that brought that brought several devastating storms including Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Can we say for certain whether a devastating storm will impact the U.S. this year? The answer is no, but we need to be prepared. The Atlantic hurricane season begins in less than two months on June 1. Are you ready?

You can read the entire 2007 hurricane forecast from Colorado State on their website --

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Warm March

According to information from the National Weather Service, March 2007 was the third warmest March on record for the Triangle. The monthly average temperature for March 2007 was 55.9 degrees at the Raleigh-Durham Airport. The normal March average temperature is 50.7. The warmest March on record was in 1945 when the monthly average temperature was 60.2. Records for the Raleigh-Durham Airport have been kept since 1944.