Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hot Here, But Things Could Be Hotter

Several of my blog posts the past several days have focused on the record heat this month in North Carolina. While it has been hot here, there are other areas of the country where it has been even hotter. Just yesterday Phoenix set a new record for the number of days in a summer with temperatures over 110. For 29 days this season, Phoenix has hit a high temperature of 110 or higher! Some folks may say that's a "dry heat," but I say dry or not -- 110 is very hot! Phoenix is looking for a cooler 108 for a high today.

Around here, look for the low 90s to round out the work week today and tomorrow, but we can look forward to the mid to upper 80s for the Labor Day weekend!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

2 Years Ago: Hurricane Katrina

Two years ago today, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi making for the worst natural disaster in recent times. As the Mississippi Gulf Coast and New Orleans continue to rebuild, there are still lessons to be learned from Katrina and how coastal residents can prepare for the next "big one."

One of these lessons is to pay attention to warnings and statements issued by the National Hurricane Center and local National Weather Service offices. Those are government agencies that did an excellent job when it came to the storm. While some people may have said they were not prepared for the damage the storm could do, the National Weather Service did their job forecasting the storm in the days leading up to the landfall. Click here to read a dire warning issued by the New Orleans National Weather Service the day before landfall.

There are many websites with Hurricane Katrina information and the storm's aftermath. Here are a few I found interesting --

Luckily, the 2007 hurricane season has not compared to record breaking season of 2005. As I write this post Wednesday morning, there are no named storms in the Atlantic basin, but there are a couple of disturbances that we are watching.

One of those is just over 125 miles off the coast of Wilmington this morning. An area of low pressure has developed off the Carolina coast and is drifting south. Conditions are not favorable for tropical development in this area right now, but the National Hurricane Center says that could change over the next day or two. As of now, it appears this disturbance will continue to slowly move to the south and remain off the coast over the next few days.

The other disturbance we are watching is a tropical wave located between the African coast and the Lesser Antilles. This tropical wave is moving to the west and conditions could become favorable for tropical development in the day couple of days.

As always, we'll keep you posted with any changes in the tropics. For the very latest, tune in for our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Heat and Drought by the Numbers

Here's a look at some interesting numbers from the National Weather Service on the hot and dry conditions across our area --
  • Total number of 90 degree days so far this month at RDU: 26
  • Total number of 90 degree days so far this season at RDU: 62
  • Monthly average temperature at RDU as of August 27: 84.5
  • Hottest monthly average temperature on record at RDU before this year: 80.6 in 1990
  • Year to date rainfall deficit in the Triangle: -5.08"
  • Year to month rainfall deficit in the Triangle: -2.35"

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sunday's Storms

Scattered showers and thunderstorms produced some spotty damage and heavy rain in some spots yesterday. Here's a look at damage reports from the National Weather Service --
  • 5:15pm -- Tree blown down near Four Oaks in Johnston County.
  • 5:30pm -- Tree down near Coats Crossroads on Raleigh Rd. blocking a lane of traffic in Johnston County
  • 5:30pm -- Tree down on Winbon Farm Road near Fremont in Johnston County
  • 5:50pm -- Pea size hail reported 3 miles southeast of Angier
  • 6:08pm -- Trees down in Buies Creek in Harnett County
  • 6:30pm -- Water as deep as one foot over the intersection of East Branch Street and Sycamore Street in Fremont. One car was reported stuck in the water at the intersection.

While some spots saw enough rain to create flash flooding, not everyone saw the rain yesterday. Here's a look at selected rain totals from across the area --

  • Lumberton: 3.59"
  • Goldsboro: 0.83"
  • Laurinburg: 0.74"
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 0.42"
  • Fayetteville: 0.37"
  • NCSU-Raleigh: 0.32"
  • RDU Airport: 0.06"

Feel free to share rain totals from your neighborhood in the comment section on this post.

If you missed out on the rain yesterday, it looks like you'll have another chance this afternoon. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and Weather on the Ones for the latest look at StormTracker Doppler Radar!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Breaking Records

This has been a record setting summer when it comes to the heat. It seems that every other day we having been talking about setting new record highs. A viewer from St. Pauls recently e-mailed asking about just how many times we have set a record this month. I honestly had lost track of the last number, so I had to do a little research on that one. By my count, the record high has been tied or broken 11 days so far this month at RDU. That includes Saturday's record setting high of 99. That also includes August 21 when the high of 105 tied the all time record high for Raleigh.

Here's a look at this month's record setting days at RDU

Date Old Record 2007
August 4 96 (1980) 96
August 6 97 (1999) 97
August 8 101 (1999) 102
August 9 100(2001) 104
August 10 99 (2001) 104
August 15 99 (1953) 99
August 16 100 (1953) 99
August 20 100 (1983) 103
August 21 101 (1983) 105
August 24 97 (1968) 99
August 25 97(1975) 99

A Few Strong Storms Possible Sunday Afternoon

The Storm Prediction Center ( has placed our area of North Carolina under a "slight risk" for severe weather this Sunday afternoon. Combine an approaching front with the heat and humidity of the day, and a few scattered thunderstorms this afternoon could get a little strong. The strongest storms may produce gusty winds and frequent lightning. If severe weather happens in your neighborhood, you can share your reports and pictures with us by e-mailing
We'll keep a close eye on the threat for storms today. Count on Weather on the Ones on News 14 Carolina for the most up to date information.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

More from the Goldsboro Macroburst

National Weather Service photo of Goldsboro storm damage on August 10, 2007.

A couple weeks ago on August 10 a severe storm over Wayne County produced a macroburst, or an area of damaging straight line winds. That storm caused a lot of damage in Goldsboro including ripping part of the roof off one motel.

The National Weather Service office in Raleigh has prepared an in-depth case study on this thunderstorm. If you're really into weather and want to know more about the meteorological factors behind severe storms, this is a good read. Check it out the study and more pictures from the damage at

Update on the Heat and Drought

Just last week I posted some stats on the hottest and driest Augusts on record in the Triangle. With the extreme heat of the past week and the dry conditions, we are still on track for 2007 to make the record books as one of the driest Augusts on record. With a some scattered showers and storms a couple of afternoons over the airport, this will not be the driest August. Rainfall for this month now stands at 0.85". The driest August ever was in 1950 when RDU only recorded 0.81". 2007 could still easily make the top 5 driest Augusts unless we see a few scattered storms over the next couple of afternoons. Luckily, that is a possibility. We won't see any drought busting rains but scattered late day storms are possible Sunday and for the first of the work week.

This year will top the list for the hottest August on record. As of yesterday, the monthly average temperature at RDU was 84.6. The hottest August at RDU before this year was in 1995 when the monthly average temperature was 80.6.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Hot and Dry August

Everyone knows August has been hot and dry so far. We've already broken several record highs this month. We hit highs of 104 twice at RDU, which is only one degree from the all time record high of 105 in the Triangle. If this hot and dry pattern doesn't change soon, we may set another record -- the hottest and driest August.

First, we'll take a look at rainfall. As I write this post on August 19, only 0.26" of rain has fallen this month at RDU. Here's a look at the 5 driest Augusts on record to this point --
  1. August 1950 -- 0.81"
  2. August 1997 -- 1.01"
  3. August 1984 -- 1.13"
  4. August 1956 -- 1.31"
  5. August 1976 -- 1.52"

When it comes to the heat, the National Weather Service office in Raleigh says we can easily set the record for the hottest August even if temperatures return to near normal levels for the rest of the month. As of Saturday, the average monthly temperature at RDU this month was 84.2. Compare that to the average monthly temperatures from the 5 warmest Augusts on record at RDU --

  1. August 1995 -- 80.6
  2. August 2006 -- 80.5
  3. August 1988 -- 80.3
  4. August 2005 -- 80.2
  5. August 1999 -- 80.0

It does appear the hot and dry conditions will continue for the next few days. Stay tuned to Weather on the Ones for the very latest on your forecast.

Thanks to the National Weather Service in Raleigh who provided the above climate data in some of their recent forecast discussions.

Dean Means Trouble for Jamaica

Hurricane Dean will move across Jamaica today spreading heavy rains and destructive winds across the small island.

While the weather instruments are working, you can use the following links for current conditions in Jamaica --

Dean could still become a category 5 hurricane into early next week as it tracks toward the Yucatan Peninsula. Depending on how much time the storm spends over land, it will weaken some before moving into the Gulf of Mexico and making landfall in Mexico.

The exact forecast track for Dean may change some into early next week. This will probably be the last blog post on Dean for several days as I take a few days off. You can find the latest on Dean by tuning in to our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina. More information is also available online from the National Hurricane Center at

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean Update -- Saturday Morning

Hurricane Dean continues to strengthen in the Caribbean. As of the 5am update from the National Hurricane Center, Dean was a category 4 storm and wasn't far from category 5 status.
Dean is forecast to track very close to Jamaica tomorrow and eventually toward the Gulf of Mexico next week. It is still too early to call an exact landfall, but locations from the Texas coast to the coast of Mexico appear to be in the greatest danger by the middle of next week. A lot can change between now and then though.

For the very latest on Dean, tune in for our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina. You can also find more on the track and other satellite images on the National Hurricane Center's website at

Friday, August 17, 2007

Dean Update -- Friday Afternoon

Dean continues to strengthen as the hurricane makes its way through the Caribbean. As of 5pm Friday, Hurricane Dean was a category 3 storm with sustain winds at 125mph. The forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings the winds in Dean up to 150mph early next week. That is only 5mph away from Category 5 status.
Dean will have to be closely monitored as it makes its way toward the Gulf of Mexico next week. It is still to early to way where this storm may be headed past the middle of next week, but the entire Gulf Coast from Mexico to Florida needs to watch this one closely.

For the latest on Dean this weekend, count on our tropical updates at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Yet Another Record Breaker on Thursday

It's no real surprise that we broke another record high Thursday in the Triangle. The high temperature of 101 at RDU broke the old record of 100 that was set in 1953. Thursday morning's low of 76 also set a record for the warmest low temperature recorded on that date.

Here's a look at other high temperatures from around the area Thursday --
  • Chapel Hill: 100
  • Southern Pines: 100
  • Fayetteville: 99
  • Laurinburg-Maxton: 99
  • Henderson-Oxford: 97
  • Louisburg: 97
  • Lumberton: 97
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 96
  • Goldsboro: 94

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Texas Getting the Soaking Rains We Need

The remnants of Tropical Storm Erin are soaking parts of Texas today. Texas is one are of the country that does not need the heavy rains from a tropical system. Flooding is being reported in parts of the state including Houston where cars are stuck on some roads because of high water...
While we don't want flooding rains here in North Carolina, a good soaking is desperately needed. An update on the drought monitor was released today and the news is not good.

The severe drought has expanded to encompass much of the state including the Triangle and the Sandhills. The hot and dry conditions of the past week are only making matters worse, and there are no signs of any widespread rains in our future for the next several days.
Meanwhile, we keep an eye on Hurricane Dean in the Atlantic that has the potential to become a very strong hurricane as it tracks toward the Caribbean.

Dean is forecast to become a category 3 hurricane in the Caribbean this weekend and could become a category 4 storm by early next week. The storm could then impact Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula where it would weaken some over land. If the storm passes through the area between the Yucatan and Cuba, the storm would likely maintain its strength. Either way, it appears that Dean may end up in the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of next week.

Keep in mind a lot can change between now and next week. We'll keep you posted with the latest developments on Dean. Catch our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Tropical Update -- Midday Wednesday

The tropics are active today with two tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin...
Tropical Storm Dean has strengthened some today as it continues to move to the west getting closer to the Caribbean. The National Hurricane Center forecasts Dean to become a hurricane by late tomorrow. The storm is expected to continue to strengthen into a Category 3 hurricane by early next week as it tracks across the Caribbean.
Obviously, there is a lot of uncertainty to where Dean will go after 3-5 days. Everyone along the U.S. coast should continue to follow this one over the next several days.

The other system we are watching in the tropics today is Tropical Storm Erin...

A hurricane hunter found that Tropical Depression #5 had strengthened into Tropical Storm Erin just before noon today. The storm is just off the Texas coast and is forecast to make landfall somewhere between Corpus Christi and Brownsville early Thursday.
Erin is expected to bring heavy rains to the southern part of Texas. Unfortunately, much of Texas has a surplus of rain while much of the southeast could desperately use the rains from a weak tropical system.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the very latest on both of these storms. You can always catch our tropical update at :21 after the hour.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dean has Arrived; Is Erin on the Way?

Tropical Depression #4 strengthened into Tropical Storm Dean this morning as it moves to the west across the open Atlantic. The storm is still about 4 days away from reaching the islands. By that time Dean is forecast to have strengthened into a hurricane.

You'll notice the forecast cone from the National Hurricane Center grows larger over time. That, of course, is because there is a great deal of uncertainty past 3 days in a hurricane forecast, and it's too early to say what Dean may do past 5 days. We'll keep you posted with the latest in our tropical updates at :21 after the hour.

Dean isn't the only area we are watching today in the tropics...

A disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico is becoming better organized and could become the next tropical depression later today or tomorrow and is tracks toward southern Texas.

Meanwhile, while we watch the tropics, get ready for more hot weather. Triple digit heat is expected to return to some parts of the state for Wednesday and Thursday...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Tropics Becoming Active

The tropics appear to be waking up with the formation of Tropical Depression #4 this morning. The depression is still very far out in the Atlantic -- much closer to Africa than anywhere in North America at the moment. However, the system is moving to the west and will likely strengthen in the coming days. In fact, the depression is expected to become Tropical Storm Dean late Monday night or Tuesday.

The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center is for the system to approach the Leeward Islands by the weekend as a hurricane.

It is important to note that there is a great deal of uncertainty with the forecast past a few days. A lot will likely change over the coming days. Luckily we have plenty of time to monitor the system, and we'll keep you updated with the latest information.

Tropical Depression #4 is not the only area we are watching in the tropics today.

An area of disturbed weather moving into the Gulf of Mexico could become the next tropical depression over the next day or two.

For the very latest on the tropics, stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for our tropical updates at :21 after the hour.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday's Heat and Severe Storms

As expected, Friday was another record breaking day as the temperature soared to 104 at RDU. That shattered the old record of 99 set in 2001. While it will be hot this weekend, luckily we shouldn't come close to any records and no 100+ temperatures are in the forecast.

Here's a look back at other high temperatures around the area from Friday:
  • Laurinburg: 108
  • Southern Pines: 108
  • Erwin: 106
  • Lumberton: 106
  • Fayetteville: 105
  • Chapel Hill: 103
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 101
  • Louisburg: 100
  • Smithfield: 100
  • Goldsboro: 99
  • Henderson-Oxford: 97

Friday's heat gave way to scattered strong thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening, some of which were very strong. Straight line winds from these storms caused problems in Goldsboro as part of the roof of a Day's Inn was ripped off. There were numerous reports of downed trees and powerlines as well. The National Weather Service reports a 85mph wind gust was measured in Goldsboro during the storm.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Another Record Set Thursday

Thursday's high temperature or 104 will go down in the record books as the hottest temperature at RDU for August 9. The old record was 100 set in 2001. That 104 was only one degree of the all time high temperature 0f 105 at RDU. Charlotte was also 104, which tied the all time record high for the Queen City.

Here's a look at other high temperatures from Thursday around our area:
  • Laurinburg: 108
  • Southern Pines: 108
  • Fayetteville: 107
  • Erwin: 106
  • Lumberton: 106
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 106
  • Chapel Hill: 104
  • Louisburg: 102
  • Goldsboro: 101
  • Henderson-Oxford: 100

Temperatures will again climb to around 100 to 105 this afternoon. That should set another record in the Triangle. Today's record stands at 99 set in 2001.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Drought Update

This week's drought monitor was released this morning and there are no changes to the current drought status across North Carolina. That may change over the coming week if we do not pick up any soaking rains, and the chance for a soaking rain is not looking promising over the next several days. In fact, the outlook is not good for the next couple of weeks. The climate outlook from the Climate Prediction Center for the next 8-14 days is for below normal precipitation in the Carolinas.

If the dry weather continues, look for the severe drought to expand eastward across the state.

Here's a look at year to date rainfall deficits for select locations in North Carolina:
  • Lumberton: -18.58"
  • Wilmington: -14.26"
  • Cape Hatteras: -13.65
  • Asheville: -9.69"
  • Greensboro: -8.02"
  • Charlotte: -6.83"
  • New Bern: -6.34"
  • Raleigh-Durham: -3.51"

For more information on the drought status in North Carolina, you can view the drought monitor by clicking to Long range forecasts across the country are available from the Climate Prediction Center at

Record Breaking Wednesday

Wednesday's high of 102 at RDU set a new record for August 8. The old record was 101 set in 1999. Records were also set in Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington, and New Bern.

Here's a look at other high temperatures from Wednesday around our area:
  • Laurinburg: 106
  • Lumberton: 106
  • Southern Pines: 106
  • Fayetteville: 105
  • Erwin: 104
  • Chapel Hill: 103
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 103
  • NCSU-Raleigh: 102
  • Goldsboro: 101
  • Henderson-Oxford: 100
  • Louisburg: 100

There's a good chance we could set a record again today. The record high for August 9 stands at 100 set in 2001 at RDU.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tuesday's Highs

  • Erwin: 106
  • Lumberton: 104
  • Fayetteville: 103
  • Laurinburg-Maxton: 103
  • Southern Pines: 102
  • Goldsboro: 100
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 100
  • Chapel Hill: 99
  • Louisburg: 99
  • Raleigh-Durham: 99
  • Henderson-Oxford: 97

We are likely to see highs between 100 and 105 again today. Many spots may be a degree or two hotter than Tuesday. The heat is at dangerous levels again today and the affects of heat can be cumulative from the last few days. Be sure to follow those heat wave safety rules -- take plenty of breaks, drink plenty of water, and avoid outdoor activities during the hottest part of the day.

In addition to the intense heat, we can't forget about the dry conditions across the state. This week's hot and dry weather has only made the drought worse. A new drought monitor is scheduled to be released Thursday. There is word that the severe drought now in the western part of the state could expand to the east. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Record Heat

The record high was tied Monday at RDU when the high reached 97. The last time the temperature hit 97 on August 6 was 1999. RDU likely would have been a little warmer than that but an isolated afternoon shower popped up nearby briefly dropping the temperature. Even warmer temperatures were reached in some spots around central North Carolina including the triple digits in the Sandhills. Here's a look at highs from Monday around the region:
  • Fayetteville: 102
  • Laurinburg-Maxton: 102
  • Lumberton: 101
  • Southern Pines: 100
  • Chapel Hill: 99
  • NCSU - Raleigh: 98
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 98
  • Louisburg: 97
  • Smithfield: 97
  • Goldsboro: 95
  • Henderson-Oxford: 95

Highs near 100 are expected again today across most of our area. Another record could be at least tied at RDU. Today's record stands at 100 set in 1999. Near record highs are expected through the rest of the work week.

The next couple of days could get pretty close to all time record highs in the Triangle. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Raleigh is 105. The last time the Triangle hit 105 was August 18, 1988. The hottest temperature ever recorded in North Carolina was 110. That was set in Fayetteville on August 21, 1983. Let's hope we stay away from temperatures that hot this week!

Stay cool and for the latest on the heat this week count on Weather on the Ones on News 14 Carolina!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Heat Wave

There are no signs of any relief from our current heat wave over the next several days. Highs this week will range from the upper 90s to near 100, which is similar to what we experienced Sunday when some spots in the Sandhills topped out over 100.

Here's a look at high temperatures from around the region Sunday:
  • Fayetteville: 102
  • Laurinbug-Maxton: 101
  • Lumberton: 101
  • Erwin: 100
  • Southern Pines: 100
  • Goldsboro: 99
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 99
  • Raleigh-Durham: 98
  • Chapel Hill: 97
  • Louisburg: 97
  • Oxford-Henderson: 97
  • Smithfield: 97

No records were set in our area on Sunday, but we will come close today. The record for August 6 stands at 97 for the Raleigh-Durham Airport. We will likely break that record today and come close to record highs for the rest of the week. Here's the record highs for RDU to watch this week:

  • August 6 -- 97 in 1999
  • August 7 -- 100 in 1999
  • August 8 -- 101 in 1999
  • August 9 -- 100 in 2001

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hot and Dry

The best way to sum up the forecast through the weekend and next week -- hot and dry. That's not good news for the drought across North Carolina. The latest drought monitor was released Thursday and indicated that severe drought conditions are expanding to the east. Much of the western part of the state is under an extreme to severe drought while the majority of the state including our region is under a moderate drought.

The severe drought many continue to spread across with no soaking rains in our future for the next several days. The only big weather story will be the heat with highs in the mid 90s into next week. A few spots may even see the upper 90s by late in the weekend and early next week. This will be one of the hottest periods of the year. So far, the hottest temperatures of the summer were recorded on July 9 in Raleigh when the high hit 98. The hottest temperature so far in Fayetteville was 97 in July 10.

Update on the Tropics -- Friday Morning

The tropical wave we have been tracking across the Caribbean the last couple of days doesn't look as well organized this morning. It will likely continue moving west today spreading rains across Jamaica as it moves toward Central America. There is only a small chance this area could become a tropical depression.

For the latest on the tropics through the weekend, be sure to tune in for our tropical update at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tropical Update -- Thursday Morning

The tropical wave that has moved into the eastern Caribbean this morning appears to be a little better organized. As the system moves to the west, this could become our next tropical depression. The National Hurricane Center sent a hurricane hunter aircraft into the disturbance yesterday afternoon but did not find a closed circulation. Another hurricane hunter is scheduled to check out the storm later today.

We'll keep you posted. For the latest tropical update, tune into News 14 Carolina at :21 after the hour.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Tropical Update -- Midday Wednesday

The National Hurricane Center is watching three areas in the tropics this Wednesday afternoon. The first is the tropical wave that is moving toward the Windward Islands today. This has shown some signs of organization today and a hurricane hunter aircraft may be sent to check out the area today.

The second area of interest is low pressure moving northeast away from the U.S. coastline. This system is moving toward cooler ocean waters, so tropical development is not expected.

The third area outlined is a disturbance that has developed in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The NHC says slow development of this area is possible over the next day or so.

Goodbye Chantal

Tropical Storm Chantal... here yesterday and gone today. As expected, Chantal was a short lived storm. Since it has tracked into the cooler waters of the northern Atlantic, the system is no longer considered to be tropical and is no longer being tracked by the National Hurricane Center.

Elsewhere today, we'll keep an eye on a tropical wave that could slowly develop as it approaches the Windward Islands.

The National Hurricane Center has scheduled a hurricane hunter aircraft to investigate this system this afternoon if necessary. We'll keep you posted with our tropical updates at :21 after the hour on News 14 Carolina.

Back at home, we are settling into a hot and dry weather pattern with temperatures climbing toward the mid 90s by the end of the week. The news is not good for the drought conditions across North Carolina. We don't see any significant rain chances in our future for the next week.