Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Chantal is Born

Tropical Depression #3 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Chantal around 8:15am Tuesday. Chantal will likely not stay a tropical storm for long as it moves northeast toward the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic.

Tropics Becoming Active...

Tropical Depression #3 was born late Monday in the Atlantic near Bermuda.

The depression could strengthen some during the day today and become Tropical Storm Chantal. It should not pose a threat to land as it quickly moves to the north and northeast. As the system encounters colder waters of the northern Atlantic, it will lose its tropical characteristics.

Tropical Depression #3 is not the only thing we are watching in the tropics today.

An area of low pressure located east of the Windward Islands is showing some signs of development this morning. It could become our next tropical deperession over the next day or two.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for tropical updates every hour at :21 after the hour.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Are the Tropics Waking Up?

Technically, there has been two named storms so far in the Atlantic basin this season, but July has been relatively quiet. That may be about to change as we head into August. There are two areas the National Hurricane Center is watching today outlined in today's graphical tropical weather outlook shown above.

The first area is associated with low pressure near Bermuda. There is a small window of opportunity for this to develop into a depression or a tropical storm as it moves to the northeast. It will bring rains to Bermuda but will track away from the US coastline.

The second area to watch is a tropical wave moving to west which has shown some signs of slow development today.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest tropical updates at :21 after the hour.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

One in Three Coastal Residents Say They Wouldn't Evacuate

A surprising study was released today that found almost one in three southern coastal residents say they would not evacuate in the event a hurricane threatened their area. The survey included residents in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. That's somewhat surprising results especially when you consider the images of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath is fresh on most minds.

You can read more about this study on news14.com just follow this link: http://news14.com/content/top_stories/585205/poll--coastal-residents-won-t-evacuate/Default.aspx

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Refreshing Sunday Morning

This is typically the hottest time of the year for us in central North Carolina. Luckily, we've enjoyed cooler than normal temperatures this weekend. In fact, there was an almost fall-like feel to the air early this Sunday morning.

Here's a look at lows from around the region --
  • Southern Pines: 55
  • Chapel Hill: 56
  • Louisburg: 57
  • Smithfield: 57
  • Raleigh-Durham: 58
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 58
  • Goldsboro: 59
  • Henderson-Oxford: 59
  • Lumberton: 59
  • Erwin-Dunn: 61

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Drought Update and a Check on the Tropics

The latest drought monitor was released today, and its not much of a surprise that the moderate drought continues for a large portion of the state. A severe to extreme drought continues in western North Carolina.

Thursday is the day the drought monitor is typically released, but the committee that decides the drought status meets on Tuesday. That means the localized heavy rains from Tuesday night were not considered in this week's drought update. While much of Wake County saw between 2 and 3 inches of rain from strong storms late Tuesday into early Wednesday, those rains were not recorded in other locations. Because of that and the quick runoff of the heavy rains, it wasn't that big of a help in the drought conditions.

That brings up the problem of summertime thunderstorms. With scattered storms during some afternoons, not every locations benefits from the rain. The other problem is the heavy rains move in and out of an area fairly quickly. That doesn't allow for a good soaking rain.

As I've mentioned here before the only solution to break out of drought conditions would be a slow soaking rain that would last for several hours if not all day. This time of year the only way we can usually get a soaking rain like that is from the remnants of a weak tropical system.

The tropics have been quiet so far this month. While we don't anticipate any development over the next few days, the National Hurricane Center is watching a tropical wave over the eastern Caribbean.

Conditions in the eastern Caribbean are not favorable for tropical development at this time. We'll continue to watch this area for you, and remember you can always find the latest on the tropics in our News 14 Carolina Tropical Update at :21 after the hour.

For more on the drought, visit http://www.ncdrought.org/ and for the latest on the tropics, check out the National Hurricane Center's site at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Stormy Tuesday Night

Strong storms pounded parts of the Triangle with heavy rains, frequent lightning, and gusty winds Tuesday night. Some areas of Wake County reported over 3 inches of rain from the storms.

Here's a look at storm reports passed along to the National Weather Service:
  • 4:45pm -- Several trees reported down in Youngsville in Franklin County.
  • 5:10pm -- Dime sized hail reported south-southwest of Seven Springs in Wayne County.
  • 8:07pm -- Storm spotter reported a large tree down on Western Blvd. near South Sanders Street.
  • 8:10pm -- Penny to quarter size hail reported near NC State
  • 8:10pm -- Nickel size hail reported at Blue Ridge Road and Lake Boone Trail in Raleigh.
  • 8:13pm -- Quarter size hail and estimated 50mph wind gusts reported on NC State's Cetennial Campus.
  • 8:14pm -- Skywarn spotter reported a 60mph wind gust in Raleigh with trees and powerlines down on Morgan Street near Tryon Hill Drive.
  • 8:35pm -- Dime size hail near Harpers Crossroads in Chatham County
  • 9:40pm -- Two trees down on Country Club Road in Mount Olive in Wayne County.
  • 12:59am -- Ten Ten Road closed between Kildaire Farm Road and Holly Springs Road.

While the gusty winds and heavy rains did cause problems, the rains were beneficial in a way to help some with drought conditions across our area. Unfortunately, a slow, steady soaking rain would be much more beneficial compared to the heavy downpours from these storms.

Here's a look at rainfall totals from late Tuesday through early Wednesday --

  • Lake Wheeler (Raleigh) -- 3.15"
  • NC State Centennial Campus -- 2.87"
  • Reedy Creek (Raleigh) -- 2.82"
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport (Morrisville) -- 2.13"
  • Fayetteville: 1.03"
  • Chapel Hill: 0.98"
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 0.98"
  • Goldsboro: 0.46"
  • Henderson-Oxford: 0.22"

If you have any photos or reports from Tuesday night's storms, you can share them with us by e-mailing weather@news14.com.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chances for Rain for the Week Ahead

Scattered showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast for pretty much each afternoon for the week ahead, and that's fairly good news for drought conditions across the state.

The moderate drought was expanded this week to encompass all of the News 14 Carolina viewing area. Rainfall deficits across the state range from just over 4 inches to over 14 inches. Here's a look at rainfall deficits for select locations around the state:
  • Lumberton: -14.28"
  • Wilmington: -13.00"
  • Elizabeth City: -11.11"
  • Asheville: -9.52"
  • Cape Hatteras: -9.35"
  • Greensboro: -6.36"
  • Charlotte: -4.70"
  • Raleigh-Durham: -4.37"
  • New Bern: -4.00"

Some dents in some of those deficits will be made this coming week. Unfortunately, widespread rains are not expected so the rain will not be beneficial for everyone. High pressure centered near Bermuda will keep winds from the south for the Carolinas the next several days. That southerly wind will usher more moisture into the region. With increased humidity, scattered showers and thunderstorms will developing during the heating of the day.

Computer forecast modelling from the North Carolina State Climate Office depicts the scattered of showers and storms over the next couple days. Again, note not every location will see the rain.

Model forecast for Monday afternoon --

Model forecast for Tuesday afternoon --

For more information on the drought in North Carolina, visit http://www.ncdrought.org/ and for more information on the models shown above visit the State Climate office at http://www.nc-climate.ncsu.edu/.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and Weather on the Ones for the latest on the chance for afternoon storms this week.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Talkin' Tropics

July 12, 1996 -- North Carolina was blasted by "Big Bertha." Eleven years ago, Hurricane Bertha was making landfall near Topsail Beach with wind gusts unofficially reported at up to 144mph.

Fast forward to July 12, 2007 and all is quiet in the tropics today, which is really not all that unusual. The tropics typically wait until late summer before things really start to become active. In fact, September is typically the peak month of the Atlantic hurricane season. So just because the tropics have been quiet this month, don't let your guard down. There is still plenty of time for storms to form. Now is the time to make sure you are prepared. We've prepared information on hurricane preparedness for coastal residents and inland residents. Check it out anytime on Carolina on Demand. You'll find Carolina on Demand on Time Warner digital channel 1234 across the Carolinas.

On a side note, there was an interesting article on storm damage in the Houston Chronicle yesterday. The article sites a study that shows Hurricane Katrina's damage in New Orleans may not have been the worst hurricane damage ever in the United States. That study says that if the Galveston 1900 hurricane were to occur today it would likely be more costly than Katrina. You can read the article by clicking to http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/hurricane/4958493.html

And if you're interested in reading more about Hurricane Bertha in North Carolina eleven years ago, visit http://lwf.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/reports/bertha/bertha.html

Stormy Afternoons

The last couple of afternoons have brought scattered showers and strong thunderstorms to central North Carolina. One of our News 14 Carolina viewers sent the above picture of storm clouds over the Fayetteville area Wednesday afternoon. We should see a break from the scattered afternoon showers and storms today, but look for those pop-up showers and storms to return by the weekend.

If you ever have any weather reports or photos to share with us, feel free to e-mail us anytime at weather@news14.com. We may even post your weather photo here on our Weather on the Ones blog!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Drought Update

It's probably no surprise to most folks that drought conditions continue across much of North Carolina. With only a few scattered thunderstorms possible over the next few days, we still do not expect any significant relief for most of our area.

Here's a look at year to date rainfall deficits as of Sunday evening for select locations in the state:

  • Lumberton: -13.20"
  • Wilmington: -11.83"
  • Asheville: -11.05"
  • Elizabeth City: -10.62"
  • Cape Hatteras: -8.89"
  • Greensboro: -5.83"
  • New Bern: -5.81"
  • Charlotte: -5.06"
  • Raleigh-Durham: -4.46"