Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2010: Year of Weather Extremes in NC

2010 has been quite the year for weather in North Carolina. The year started with a cold and snowy winter transitioned to one of the hottest summers on record in the state and then ended with a Christmas weekend snow storm and one of the coldest Decembers on record.

A winter storm at the end of January produced snow across almost the entire state except near the southeast coast. That storm produced 6-8" of snow and sleet across the Triangle.

The late January snow was not the only winter storm to impact North Carolina in early 2010. A second winter storm produced heavier snowfall near the coast in February. As much as 8" of snow fell across Onslow and Carteret Counties from February 12 through 13. That storm produced 2-4" of snow across the Triangle and Sandhills.
The winter ended with a third snowstorm in early March that produced a band of 4-8" of snow just southwest and south of Raleigh.
After the cold winter, temperatures quickly warmed up and the summer featured the most number of 90 degree days ever recorded in Raleigh-Durham. Some of the hottest temperatures of the summer came during July when temperatures topped out at over 100 in much of the Triangle and Sandhills and over 95 in much of coastal North Carolina.
The hot summer led into an active hurricane season in the Atlantic basin. While an above average number of storms developed in the Atlantic, North Carolina was spared a direct hit. Hurricane Earl just brushed past the Outer Banks in early September.

Later in September a disorganized system produced record rainfall along the southeast coast. Over 22" of rain was recorded in Wilmington between September 26 and October 1. That was more rain that Wilmington had recorded in a one week period even topping Hurricane Floyd from 1999. The heavy rain of late September led to flooding reports in much of eastern North Carolina.
Now the year is ending with one of the coldest Decembers on record in much of the state. A winter storm from Christmas Day through December 26 produced snow across the entire state. The heaviest snow fell east of Raleigh near I-95 where locations near Wilson reported just over one foot of snow.

After a very active 2010 in weather, what will 2011 bring? It looks to at least start with above normal temperatures for New Years Day. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and Weather on the Ones through 2011 to find out what else the year may bring.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

All images courtesy of the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Raleigh.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

NC Snowfall Map - December 25-26, 2010

Image from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Raleigh, NC. Click for a larger view.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow totals - December 25-26, 2010

  • Wilson: 12.5"
  • Tarboro: 12.5"
  • Emit: 12.0"
  • Roanoke Rapids: 12.0"
  • Clayton: 10.0"
  • Farmville: 10.0"
  • Goldsboro: 10.0"
  • Knightdale: 10.0"
  • Eastover: 9.0"
  • Lillington: 9.0"
  • Smithfield: 9.0"
  • Raleigh: 8.5"
  • Louisburg: 8.2"
  • Roxboro: 8.0"
  • Youngville: 7.5"
  • Lumbeton: 7.2"
  • Raleigh-Durham Aiport: 7.1"
  • Fayetteville: 7.0"
  • Bladenboro: 6.5"
  • Raeford: 6.5"
  • Warrenton: 6.3"
  • Southern Pines: 6.2"
  • Kenansville: 6.0"
  • Henderson: 6.0"
  • Sanford: 6.0"
  • Greensboro (PTI Airport): 5.8"
  • Carthage: 5.0"
  • Oxford: 5.0"
  • Troy: 5.0"
  • Winston-Salem: 5.0"
  • Chapel Hill: 4.0"
  • Durham: 4.0"
  • Laurinburg: 4.0"
  • Hillsborough: 4.0"
  • Whiteville: 4.0"
  • New Bern: 3.3"
  • Jacksonville: 3.0"
  • Pittsboro: 3.0"
  • Atlantic Beach: 2.0"
  • Seagate: 2.0"
  • Wilmington: 0.1"

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Weekend Winter Storm - Saturday AM Update

Snowfall accumulation forecasts have increased since yesterday morning. Computer model forecasts show low pressure tracking closer to the Carolina coastline than previously thought. This will bring increased precipitation totals particularly for areas from the Triangle to along the I-95 corridor.

Light snow and rain may spread across the Triangle and Sandhills during Christmas Day but with daytime temperatures above freezing, little to no accumulation is expected during the day. Snow accumulations will mainly start tonight in the Triangle and Sandhills and continue into much of Sunday. Rain will spread into coastal areas this evening for coastal areas. The rain/snow line will move toward the coast Sunday morning.

A heavy band of 4-8" of snow with some pockets of more than 8" looks to set up somewhere near I-95 possibly from just northeast of Fayetteville to around Goldsboro, Wilson, Rocky Mount, Greenville and Roanoke Rapids. This heavy band may also include the eastern half of Wake and Johnston Counties. To the west of that band including western Wake County, Durham, and Chapel Hill, 2-5" of snow is expected. Snowfall accumulations will drop east of the heavy band toward the coast. Along the immediate coast, a trace to under an inch is possible with totals increasing inland toward that heavier band along I-95.

If the low tracks even closer to the coast, the heavier band of snow may shift to the Triangle. A more offshore track would mean lower accumulations.

The forecast may still change! Be prepared for dangerous travel conditions across much of North Carolina tonight through at least Monday morning.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for updates!

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Weekend Snow Forecast -- Friday AM Update

We are finally gaining some confidence in the forecast for this holiday weekend! Earlier in the week we began tracking the potential for a Christmas winter storm in the Carolinas. One computer model suggested we would see a chilly light rain while another model predicted a major snowstorm for the east coast. Through midweek, it began clear that we would see some snow, but as of yesterday morning, it was very uncertain if central and eastern North Carolina would see light accumulations or a significant snowfall.

Finally late Thursday into this Christmas Eve morning, computer models are coming to a consensus toward lighter accumulations. Based on that latest data, I developed the above accumulation map for the Triangle, Sandhills, and coastal viewing areas.

Snowfall could begin as early as Christmas afternoon in the Triangle and Sandhills. It could be mixed with rain at that time. Temperatures should be warm enough that there will be little to no accumulation in the afternoon. Any afternoon precipitation near the coast will fall as light rain.

Through Christmas evening into Sunday morning, light snow will accumulate across the Triangle and Sandhills from a dusting to 2 inches. A narrow band of 1-3" with isolated spots of up to 4" is possible from near Fayetteville to around Goldsboro, Wilson, and Greenville. That narrow band of heavier snow may shift a little east or west depending on the exact track of the low.

Locations in our coastal viewing area will see light rain mix with and change to snow late Christmas night into early Sunday morning. Accumulations of a dusting to 2" are possible here with the heavier totals inland and light accumulations toward the southeast coast.

Keep in mind, while we are more certain about the forecast this morning, our forecast may still change based on the exact track and strength of low pressure off our coast. We'll be working through the Christmas weekend to keep you informed. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest!

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

White Christmas 1989

Twenty-one years ago residents of southeastern North Carolina woke up to a lot of snow! A rare snow storm created a white Christmas for the North Carolina coast in 1989. Check out these pictures from the Wilmington area --

The storm produced 15" of snow in Wilmington from December 22 through December 24, 1989. Parts of Carteret County received up to 16", while the heaviest snowfall was found in western Brunswick County with 20". Four inches fell in Fayetteville while the Triangle only had a trace of snow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Still Uncertainty with Christmas Weekend Winter Storm

After reviewing the latest weather data and computer forecast models this morning, I've got to say there is still a lot of uncertainty with the forecast for Christmas night into Sunday. Snow is still expected across parts of the Carolinas. The amount of snowfall is in question. Snow accumulations and the parts of the state that will see the heaviest snowfall will all depend on the track and strength of low pressure off our coastline.

The timing of this storm has slowed down from forecasts earlier in the week. The chance to actually see a white Christmas during the daytime hours Christmas Day looks slim in our area at this point. It appears snow will spread across the piedmont to the Triangle and Sandhills Christmas night and continue into at least Sunday morning. Coastal locations will more than likely see the precipitation start as rain, but the rain/snow line may transition to the coast early Sunday morning.

Making an accumulation forecast at this point would be about like rolling dice. A major snow storm is still possible across central and eastern North Carolina. However, some data also indicates relatively light accumulations. Computer models should come into a better consensus over the next 24 hours, and we'll be able to fine tune our forecast by Christmas Eve.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina. We'll have the latest in our Weather on the Ones reports through the holiday weekend.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Storm Possible for Christmas Weekend

You've probably heard the buzz around town by now... North Carolina's chances for a white Christmas are much higher than most years. Yesterday, on News 14 Carolina and here on the weather blog, we discussed a couple of different scenarios with a low pressure system that will track across the southeast Christmas Day. The first scenario took the low on a more northerly route which would mean mainly a chilly rain for central and eastern North Carolina with a chance for light snow on the backside of the system. A more southerly track of the low was the second scenario. That would mean more snow for central and even eastern North Carolina. Based on most computer model data from late yesterday and this morning, it appears that second scenario (the southerly track) is more likely.

Here's a look at forecast maps from the National Weather Service for Christmas morning and Sunday morning --

This is a classic setup for a Carolina snowstorm. Keep in mind all the ingredients must come together at just the right time for a snowstorm in our part of North Carolina. At this point, it does appear mainly snow will fall across central and eastern North Carolina. Coastal locations would see rain at the onset of the precipitation, but it is possible for that rain to change to at least some snow at some point. The timing of the precipitation is still questionable at this time. Based on the latest data, it appears the precipitation would begin to fall sometime Christmas afternoon or evening and continue through the night. Snow will be possible into Sunday.

This set up would produce accumulating snowfall especially in the Triangle, Sandhills and points to the west. The forecast for coastal areas remains uncertain at this time. It is much too early to make any calls for snowfall amounts in central North Carolina. Computer models still vary from one extreme of light accumulations to the other extreme of a major snowstorm.

While a lot of folks are dreaming of a white Christmas, this storm has the potential to become a major snowstorm from the Carolinas to the northeast. This would create dangerous or impossible travel conditions. Keep in mind snowfall amounts are very uncertain at this time. This is just a heads up to continue to monitor the latest forecasts.

We'll be in the weather center through the week and the holiday weekend with the latest information. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for updates.
Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dreaming of a White Christmas in 2010?

A white Christmas in our part of North Carolina is very rare. In any given year, the chance to see a white Christmas is less than 5%. It has happened in the past though. Just ask folks that were around southeastern North Carolina in 1989. A snow storm produced up to 20" of snow near the southeast coast from December 22 through December 24, 1989. About 4" fell around Fayetteville, but only a trace of snow was reported in the Triangle. While the Triangle did not see a white Christmas that year, most of that snow was still on the ground Christmas morning from Fayetteville to the coast. Looking back at the records for the Raleigh-Durham Airport, the only white Christmas on record was in 1966 when there was 1 inch of snow on the ground. Generally, a white Christmas is defined as having at least one inch of snow on the ground Christmas Day. Snow has only fallen at RDU on Christmas Day once since records have been kept. That was in 1947 when only 0.4" of snow was reported. Records have been kept at RDU since 1944.

As we approach Christmas Day 2010, the prospects of a white Christmas in North Carolina are higher than most years. Honestly though, the forecast for Christmas Day is still very uncertain.

Low pressure will track across the southeast Christmas Eve and possibly track up the east coast Christmas Day or night. The exact track of that low pressure will determine what type of precipitation we see. At this point, all scenarios are on the table. One model takes the low on a more northerly track keeping most of central and eastern North Carolina with a chilly rain Christmas Day with light snow possible as the precipitation comes to an end Christmas evening. Other models suggest a more potent storm system with a more southerly track. This would lead to mainly snow across most of the state except at the coast where mainly rain would fall. However, under that scenario the precipitation could change to snow at the coast before ending.

Those are the two extremes we are watching this morning. The actual weather conditions Christmas Day will likely end up somewhere between those two extremes. Forecasting winter weather in our part of North Carolina is very tricky. Making a definite call on the Christmas forecast at this point would be pretty much like throwing darts at a dartboard. It is just too early to make a call on who sees rain, who sees snow, and how much.

We'll gain certainty with the forecast over the next couple of days. Computer models by Thursday should have a much better handle on this potential storm. While many folks may be dreaming of a white Christmas, this is just a heads up that if the more southerly low track occurs, there will be major travel headaches up and down the east coast.

We'll keep you posted with Weather on the Ones updates through the week on News 14 Carolina. Stay tuned...

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Light Snow and a Wintry Mix for Thursday

Light snow will spread across parts of North Carolina by daybreak Thursday morning. The precipitation will be light, but with a very cold ground, any frozen precipitation that falls will stick to the ground and pavement surfaces. Here are some thoughts about the forecast for Thursday morning broken down by region...

-Light snow begins around daybreak and the morning rush hour.
-A dusting to 1" of accumulation possible with slightly higher accumulation possible north of Raleigh near the Virginia border.
-The light snow will mix with and change to sleet and freezing rain through the morning. That will create a light glazing on top of any accumulated snow.
-The wintry mix should change to just a chilly light rain around midday or early afternoon.
-Slick spots possible on area roadways from the morning commute through the lunch hour.

-Light snow begins around daybreak, give or take a couple hours.
-A dusting of snow possible.
-The light snow will mix with and change to light sleet and freezing rain in the morning creating a glazing on top of the dusting of snow.
-Any wintry precipitation should change to just a chilly light rain by late morning.
-Slick spots possible on area roadways through the morning commute.

Coastal areas
-Light precipitation will arrive at the coast around daybreak to a couple hours after sunrise.
-Some locations just inland from the coast may see a brief period of snow mixed with rain before a quick change over to chilly light rain.
-A chilly light rain or drizzle will fall for most of the day after that brief period of a mix in some inland areas.

As with any winter weather event in North Carolina, forecasting the exact location and the exact amount of snow, sleet, and freezing rain is very tricky. Be sure to check in with News 14 Carolina Thursday morning for the latest weather and traffic conditions.

We also continue to monitor the forecast for the weekend. Another area of low pressure will develop near the Gulf coast late Friday and track toward the Carolinas. That will spread rain across the state for the daytime hours Saturday. There is still a lot of uncertainty for Saturday night. Computer forecast models are still not consistent with various scenarios that could play out. There is the possibility that Saturday's rain will change to snow in parts of North Carolina. It is much too early to make any calls on what locations will see that snow and how much will be possible. We should have a better idea on this system by Friday. Stay tuned...

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wintry Mix for Thursday?

Dry weather is in the forecast through Wednesday, but that still looks to change by Thursday morning. Weak low pressure will track toward the Carolinas late Wednesday spreading light precipitation across North Carolina by early Thursday morning. Temperatures should be cold enough for that to start as a light wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. Somewhat warmer air will work its way across the region during the day changing the wintry mix to rain. The changeover should happen fairly quickly for coastal areas after a brief period of snow or sleet. The changeover will take longer in other areas. Locations from Raleigh to the north, may not see the change over until afternoon.

Winter weather is always tricky in our part of North Carolina and this system is no different. We'll continue to monitor the latest weather data and will fine tune the forecast as Thursday approaches. At this point, while the precipitation should be light, the Thursday morning commute could be slippery for the Triangle and Sandhills. We'll keep you posted.

Thursday's chance for a wintry mix may not be the only system we have to watch over the next seven days. Keep an eye on the weekend forecast...

Lee Ringer
News 14 Meteorologist

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold Weather is Here! Any Winter Precip to go with the Cold?

Crank up the heat! Another cold blast has arrived in the Carolinas keeping afternoon highs in the 30s in most of our area through the first half of the week. Windy conditions will keep wind chills in the 20s this afternoon and Tuesday afternoon. Wind chills could dip to between 1 and 5 degrees by early Tuesday morning!

Some spots in the Triangle and Sandhills reported light snow late Sunday night into early Monday morning leaving a coating of snow on some car windshields. Otherwise, look for dry conditions through the first half of the week. If you want to see snow, check out the mountains. 4-8" of snow is possible in elevations about 3000 feet today. At 9 am this morning, Boone was reporting snow with wind gusts up to 40mph. The wind chill was -10!

Things could get interesting here by early Thursday morning. We'll track a storm system across the southeast that could bring light precipitation to North Carolina before daybreak Thursday morning. Temperatures should be cold enough at that point for the precipitation to fall as a wintry mix before changing to rain at some point. The amount of precipitation and the time of that changeover is very uncertain now. That could make the difference between mostly a cold rain or an icy mix leading to travel headaches.

As we review the latest weather data over the next couple of days, we'll gain some certainty on Thursday's forecast.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Arctic Blast

Another Arctic blast is on the way for early next week. Temperatures will be just as cold if not somewhat colder than early this week. Most of our area only had highs in the 30s through the first half of this week. Record low maximum temperatures were set a couple days, and more records could be in jeopardy next week. This cold blast will be ushered in by a cold front moving across North Carolina Sunday.

Rain will be possible ahead of the front, but it appears any precipitation will be gone by the time the cold air arrives. Winter precipitation is not forecast in our area at this time. However, snow is expected in the North Carolina mountains Sunday and may continue Monday. Strong winds will create near blizzard conditions by Monday morning in the high elevations of the mountains!

Windy conditions are expected in our part of North Carolina as well for Monday through Tuesday. Single digit wind chills are possible here Monday night and Tuesday morning.

After this very cold start to December, it is interesting to note that the long range forecast for January through March still calls for above average temperatures across much of the south. Even though we've had such a cold December, it is possible we may end up with a mild winter. More on that to come...

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Severe Weather Risk: Late Tuesday - Early Wednesday

There is growing concern today for the threat for severe weather late tonight into early Wednesday morning. A potent storm system will track across the Carolinas tonight increasing the severe weather threat for central and eastern North Carolina between 10pm Tuesday night and 8am Wednesday morning. This is the same storm system that has already produced tornadoes in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

One of the big concerns with this severe weather threat is the timing. Many people will be asleep and may not hear warnings. Storms could be moving quickly, and there may be little time to act. We mention it time and time again, but it will be very important for everyone in central and eastern North Carolina to have a NOAA Weather Radio tonight. These special radios will sound an alarm when a severe weather warning is issued. Models with SAME technology can be programmed to only alert you when warnings are issued for where you live.

The greatest risk from storms overnight may come from damaging straight line winds. A thunderstorm does not have to produce a tornado to cause wind damage. Straight line winds can cause extensive damage similar to tornadoes. The Storm Prediction Center says there is a 30% probability for damaging winds in the area --

The tornado probability is given at 10% --

10% may not sound like a lot, but keep in mind that is a much higher chance than what is expected out of most November storm systems. A few tornadoes will be possible overnight.

While it does not happen that often, North Carolina does have a history of strong overnight tornadoes in November. We cited a few examples in yesterday's blog post. Many longtime Raleigh residents will remember the November 1988 tornado. That tornado reached F4 intensity and stayed on the ground for 84 miles.

We expect the overnight storm threat to be ending by 6am in the Triangle and Sandhills and by 8-9am in coastal North Carolina.

Our team of meteorologists will continue to follow the latest weather information coming into the forecast center. We'll have around the clock coverage of tonight's storm threat. Stay tuned for Weather on the Ones updates on News 14 Carolina.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Monday, November 29, 2010

Strong Storms Possible Tuesday Night into Wednesday Morning

Central and eastern North Carolina could be in for a round of stormy weather late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. A warm front will lift through the state Tuesday bringing a much warmer day with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s in the region. We don't expect much in the way of rain during the day Tuesday except for a few spotty light showers. That will change Tuesday night as a cold front moves across the state meeting up with warm, humid air.
Locally heavy rain along with strong storms will be possible just ahead of the front. The biggest threat from any strong storms will be damaging winds, but at this point, isolated tornadoes cannot be ruled out.

The severe weather danger will be higher since this chance for storms will come overnight when many people will be sleeping. Unfortunately, North Carolina does not have a good history with overnight severe weather. The state leads the country in the number of fatalities from nocturnal tornadoes.

There are several examples of overnight tornadoes in November:
While this is just a slight risk for severe weather at this point, it is a good time to make sure you have a working NOAA Weather radio with fresh batteries. Weather radios will sound an alarm alerting you to severe weather warnings in your area.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for updates.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Turning Colder after Thanksgiving?

The latest 7-day outlook shows a nice warm up just before Thanksgiving with highs reaching the 70s in parts of central and eastern North Carolina. Big changes could be on the way just after Thanksgiving though. Models have been showing some consistency in forecasting colder air moving into the eastern U.S. from just after Thanksgiving through early December. The Climate Prediction Center is also predicting colder than normal temperatures for the eastern U.S. in the latest 8 to 14 day outlook --Time will tell just how much cold our temperatures will drop during that time period. December through February is forecast to be warmer than average, but there can always be a few cold snaps in a winter that is colder than normal. Looks like we'll be reminded of that heading into December.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Friday, November 05, 2010

What is the Difference Between a Frost and a Freeze?

Last weekend we had advisories for the possibility of frost, especially for low-lying and rural areas outside of Raleigh, Wilmington and Morehead City. This weekend we face our first freeze of the season.

What is the difference between a frost and a freeze? Frost occurs on a clear, still night, as heat radiates from surfaces (like your car window, a field, etc.) to the sky. The temperature drops below 32 degrees and water vapor freezes on those surfaces (a process called sublimation..or gas being converted to a solid while bypassing the liquid stage). The temperature won't go much below freezing, because energy is released as the water freezes.

Most plants that aren't tropical can handle temperatures a few degrees below freezing with no problem, and if you have plants up against a house (even tender plants) they can usually be spared as heat will be trapped by any overhang.

Clouds or fog will trap heat, usually preventing a frost.

A freeze, however, is caused by cold, Arctic air moving into a region. It is a relatively dry air mass that is much colder than freezing, and you can have moving wind in cases of a freeze.

Much of the damage we see on plants from a freeze is called desiccation -- severe drying of the foliage.

Due to the fact that this involves a chance of air mass, there is less protection for plants by ways of cover or overhangs, so they need to be brought in if at all possible.

Usually a hard freeze marks the end of a growing season. In central North Carolina, we typically see our first freeze of the autumn season anytime from mid-October for the extreme north/northwest Triangle region to after November 1st for the southern Sandhills and Coastal Plain.

Friday, October 29, 2010

National Weather Service confirms 5 tornadoes from mid-week outbreak

The following is from the National Weather Service, Raleigh, NC:

NWS Surveys Damage from October 27, 2010, Tornadoes

The National Weather Service confirms that five tornadoes touched down in north central North Carolina
on Wednesday, October 27, 2010. Two supercell thunderstorms produced 5 tornadoes across Person,
Orange, Granville and Vance counties during the afternoon and evening.
(A link to the full report which includes tornado tracks and photos is included here: )

For reference, the Enhanced Fujita (EF) scale classifies tornadoes into the following categories:
EF0...wind speeds 65 to 85 mph.
EF1...wind speeds 86 to 110 mph.
EF2...wind speeds 111 to 135 mph.
EF3...wind speeds 136 to 165 mph.
EF4...wind speeds 166 to 200 mph.
EF5...wind speeds greater than 200 mph.

Note: the information in this document is preliminary and subject to change pending final review of the event(s)
and publication in NWS Storm Data.

BEGINNING LAT/LON... 36.37N / 79.15W
ENDING LAT/LON... 36.37N / 79.14W
The National Weather Service in Raleigh NC has confirmed a tornado near Roxboro Lake in western Person County North
Carolina on 10/27/2010.
Numerous trees were snapped off and uprooted in a small area along Gordonton Road south of U.S. Highway 158 near
Roxboro Lake.

BEGINNING LAT/LON...36.39N / 78.95W
ENDING LAT/LON...36.39N / 78.94W
The National Weather Service in Raleigh NC has confirmed a tornado near Roxboro in person county North Carolina on
A supercell thunderstorm produced a short lived EF‐1 tornado which produced significant damage to a double wide modular
home along apple tree lane near Allensville road. The modular home was shifted up to 40 feet off of its foundation and
sustained significant structural damage...with 50 percent of the roof destroyed. One individual was inside of the modular home
at the time of the tornado and was not injured. Nearby modular homes sustained minor damage to the roof and siding.
Numerous trees were either snapped off or uprooted at this location. Winds were estimated to be between 86 to 90 mph.
The tornado tracked eastward and across a wooded area before crossing Ruff Davis road... Where several trees were snapped
off and downed in different directions. The tornado lifted as it moved into another wooded area east of Ruff Davis road.

BEGINNING LAT/LON...36.19 / 79.22W
ENDING LAT/LON...36.20 / 79.17W
The National Weather Service in Raleigh NC has confirmed a tornado near Carr in Orange County North Carolina on
A supercell thunderstorm produced a series of tornadoes across portions of Orange... Granville... and Vance counties in central
North Carolina. The first of which produced EF‐1 damage with winds between 90 to 95 mph along Carr Store Road near Allie
Mae Road in northern Orange County. At this location a church sustained significant damage...with two walls made of cinder
blocks blown down. Numerous hard and soft wood trees were also snapped off and uprooted at this location.
The tornado continued to track east northeast and damaged two homes along Pentecost Road. Both homes sustained roof
damage...including a partially collapsed chimney. Two individuals were home at the time of the tornado and were not injured.
Numerous trees where snapped off and uprooted at this location as well. Winds were estimated to range from 86 to 90 mph.
The tornado weakened as it continued to track east north‐east across Mcdade Store Road and Efland‐Cedar Grove Road...
before lifting. Numerous trees were either damaged or downed during this area.

BEGINNING LAT/LON...36.33N / 78.71W
ENDING LAT/LON...36.35N / 78.63N
The National Weather Service in Raleigh NC has confirmed an ef‐0 tornado just east of Berea in Granville County North
Carolina on 10/27/2010.
A supercell thunderstorm moving northeast across orange and person counties had already produced a tornado near Cedar
Grove in northern Orange County. This same storm produced a second tornado which touched down just east of Berea in
Granville County. This EF‐0 tornado tracked over 5 miles with a path width near 100 yards and winds of 80 to 85 mph. The
touched down north of Highway 158 near the intersection of Bob Daniel Road and Hebron Road. Numerous trees were
uprooted and shingles were blown off houses. The tornado continued moving east‐northeast partially removing the
roof from a house on Hebron Road and destroying 2 sheds at 1657 Elam Currin Road. A neighbor on Elam Currin Road stated
he heard the warning on NOAA Weather Radio before the tornado struck and took cover with his wife in an interior hallway.
The tornado then crossed Pine Town Road where more minor damage to tin roofing and shingles was noted before crossing
Graham‐Hobgood Road. Numerous outbuildings were severely damaged along Joe Pruitt Road near its intersection with
Graham‐Hobgood Road. At least 2 outbuildings were destroyed and as many as 4 others suffered substantial damage. A single
wide mobile home was shifted about 2 feet...however...the tie downs and anchors held which kept the trailer from overturning.
Winds in this area were rated around 80 to 85 mph based on the noted damage. The tornado then turned a little more to the
northeast... crossing Bodie Currin Road causing minor roof damage to a residence at 2543 Bodie Currin Road. Numerous trees
were blown down in this area and other homes suffered shingle and siding damage. The tornado then crossed Highway 96
lifting off the ground near the intersection of Cornwall Road and Sterl Carrington Road.

BEGINNING LAT/LON...36.38N / 78.38W
ENDING LAT/LON...36.39N / 78.33W
The National Weather Service in Raleigh NC has confirmed an EF‐0 tornado just west of Middleburg in Vance County North
Carolina on 10/27/2010.
A supercell thunderstorm moving northeast across Orange...Person and Granville counties had already produced a tornado
near Cedar Grove in Orange County and a second tornado near Berea in Granville county. The same storm produced a third
tornado north of Henderson and just west of Middleburg. This EF‐0 tornado...which was the weakest of the three...tracked near
3 miles with a path width of 50 yards and winds of 75 to 80 mph.
The tornado initially touched down on Coopers Grove Road blowing limbs out of trees and causing minor damage to a couple
of sheds and outbuildings. The tornado tracked east‐northeast crossing Satterwhite Point Road blowing down and snapping
numerous trees. Some minor damage to 2 homes occurred along with some damage to an above ground pool. The tornado
then crossed Mabry Mill Road causing extensive damage to trees which blocked Mabry Mill Road damaging the guardrails. As
the tornado continued east it crossed Interstate 85 and caused some minor awning and roof damage to the Snackers BP gas
station at exit 220. The tornado then lifted off the ground after striking the gas station.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Goodbye Summer Heat!

The cool crisp mornings of fall have finally arrived this week! It appears we can finally say goodbye to the summer heat that lasted through much of September. Highs can still reach the 90s in North Carolina in October. However, looking at at forecast for the next week, it is very unlikely that we will see the 90s again this year!

Parts of our state including Raleigh-Durham broke records with the summer heat this year. RDU had the most number of 90 degree or higher days in a year with 91 days of highs 90+.

Here's a look at what is likely the final total of 90 degree and higher days in 2010 from across NC:

  • Lumberton: 101
  • Fayetteville: 100
  • Raleigh-Durham: 91
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 91
  • Charlotte: 87
  • Chapel Hill: 75
  • New Bern: 71
  • Wilmington: 68
  • Greensboro: 67
  • Hickory: 59
  • Asheville: 19
  • Boone: 4
  • Cape Hatteras: 1

Lee Ringer

News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Friday, October 01, 2010

Rainfall from Sunday, September 26 - Thursday, Septmber 30, 2010

Rainfall totals since Sunday, September 26 from around eastern North Carolina. (updated Monday, October 4).

  • Wilmington Airport: 22.54"
  • Swansboro: 21.65"
  • Ogden: 20.62"
  • Surf City: 20.55"
  • Cedar Point: 19.34"
  • Jacksonville: 17.75"
  • Havelock: 17.42"
  • Greenville: 16.41"
  • Cherry Point: 15.01"
  • New Bern: 14.93"
  • Newport: 14.54"
  • Morehead City: 13.59"
  • Harkers Island: 13.26"
  • Goldsboro: 12.61"
  • Beaufort: 12.41"
  • Wilson: 11.44"
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 10.08"
  • Red Springs: 9.90"
  • Elizabethtown: 9.00"
  • Fort Bragg: 8.85"
  • Fayetteville: 8.60"
  • Laurinburg: 8.59"
  • Lumberton: 7.79"
  • Clayton: 7.53"
  • Chapel Hill: 7.35"
  • Raeford: 7.24"
  • Louisburg: 7.15"
  • Hillsborough: 6.74"
  • Raleigh-Durham: 6.53"
  • Jordan Lake Dam: 6.39"
  • Durham: 6.12"
  • Henderson: 6.05"

Check out flooding pictures from our viewers posted on our Facebook page at E-mail your rainfall reports and weather pictures to

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Heavy Rain Threat Continues Through Midweek

Heavy rains have already fallen over parts of eastern North Carolina since Sunday, and more is on the way from Wednesday into Thursday. Flooding will be a concern through at least midweek. Rainfall totals have reached just over 12" in Wilmington since Sunday. Over 10" of that came Monday making for the second highest daily rainfall on record in Wilmington. The highest ever one day rainfall in Wilmington was over 13" during Hurricane Floyd on September 15, 1999. Elsewhere, rain totals since Sunday have reached almost 6" in Fayetteville and 3" in Raleigh. Additional heavy rainfall on top of those totals will cause flooding problems.

Waves of low pressure will move along a stalled frontal boundary near the coast beginning Wednesday. That will spread rain across the eastern half of the state during the day with some of the heaviest rain coming Wednesday afternoon and night. The heavy rain will not only fall along the coast but also across the Triangle and Sandhills. An additional 5" of rain is possible across much of the area through early Thursday, but some locations could see much more than that.

A possible tropical system developing just south of Cuba this morning could add to the heavy rain threat through Thursday and into early Friday. Wednesday and Wednesday night's rain will not be related to this tropical system. This would only serve to add more rain Thursday. Most computer models bring this storm near south Florida Wednesday and then either off the southeast coast or up the Carolina coast Thursday into early Friday morning.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for the latest on the flooding threat through the week.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Changes Could Be on the Way....

It has been a hot and dry September across North Carolina, and this hot and dry pattern will not let up for the rest of the week. Near record highs are expected around the Triangle through Saturday, but a cold front that will move through this weekend signaling what could be big changes in our weather next week.

Not only are cooler temperatures in the forecast for next week, but some of the best rain chances we have seen in quite a while are expected. Rain would be very welcome, as we are currently on track for one of the driest Septembers on record. At the Raleigh-Durham Airport, only 0.13" of rain has been measured this month and Wilmington has only recorded 0.18". That puts Wilmington more than 15" behind in rainfall for the year.

There is still some disagreement among extended weather models on exactly what days next week we will see rain. Beginning Sunday, we should have a chance for rain through at least the middle of next week. While some of those days may feature little to no rain, other days could feature thunderstorms and heavy rain. Forecast details on the timing of the best chances for rain next week should be ironed out over the next few days.

Looking ahead to late next week, our attention may have to turn to the tropics. This morning we're already watching a tropical wave in the southeastern Caribbean that could eventually become a player in weather across the southeastern United States.

Most computer models seen in the above image from Colorado State University keep this tropical wave in the Caribbean the next several days bringing it near Central America and then Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by early next week. During that time, it appears the tropical wave will develop into at least a tropical storm. If that happens, it would be named Matthew.

Since this storm has not even developed yet, there is a lot of uncertainty on exactly where it may go. It is worth noting that the GFS model has been consistent in bringing this storm into the Gulf of Mexico sometime toward the end of next week. One run of the model this morning even brings the storm off the Carolina coast the following weekend (first few days of October).

A lot could change with this possible tropical system over the coming days though. Stay tuned for our tropical updates at :21 after the hour for the latest.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hot and Dry September So Far...

As I write this post, the Triangle is about to tie the record for the most number of days in a year with highs of 90 or higher and rainfall deficits are climbing across the state. Wilmington's deficit stands at over 13.5" for the year. Raleigh-Durham's deficit is now over 7".

The hot and dry pattern does not appear to be letting up with no signs of rain for at least the next 7 days. The driest September on record for Raleigh-Durham was September 1985 when only 0.23" of rain fell. So far this month, only 0.13" of rain has fallen at RDU. Of course, we still have half of September to catch up on rainfall. However, the outlook beyond 7 days is still dry. The 8 to 14 day outlook calls for below normal rainfall across the Carolinas.

Soaking rains from a tropical system could be the only hope to break out of our dry pattern anytime soon. While the tropics are active, any tropical systems through this week and into early next week will stay far away from North Carolina.

Our weather pattern could change toward the end of September, but for now the hot and dry weather continues...

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Hurricane Earl -- Thursday morning update

Hurricane Earl remains a powerful hurricane just off the Carolina coast this morning. There has not been much change in the forecast track for the storm over the last 24 to 36 hours. The storm should be tracking to the north just brushing past the North Carolina coast tonight. The eye of the storm may get very close to Cape Hatteras between midnight and 3am.

Even though the center of the storm may stay just off shore, Earl remains a very large hurricane. Hurricane force winds extend 90 miles from the storm's center. Tropical storm force winds extend 230 miles from the storm's center. Much of the North Carolina coast will at least experience those tropical storm force winds with hurricane force winds possible from the Crystal Coast through the Outer Banks.

The Outer Banks will experience the worst of the storm late tonight through the early morning hours. The intense winds will create high surf that will likely wash over parts of Highway 12. Street flooding can be expected along with wind damage and power outages.

Crystal Coast residents should be making their final preparations for the possibility for hurricane force wind gusts tonight. The winds will be picking up through the afternoon as rain bands begin to move inland. Winds may gust to 75mph or slightly higher tonight.

Along the Cape Fear coast and inland toward Wilmington and Jacksonville, winds will not be as strong but are still expected to reach tropical storm force strength. Gusts up to 60mph cannot be ruled out.

Central North Carolina including the Triangle, Sandhills, Triad, and Charlotte area are not expected to be impacted by the storm.

If you have any questions about Earl, Weather on the Ones meteorologists are answering your questions as time allows on our Facebook page at

Stay tuned for the very latest on Hurricane Earl every 10 minutes on News 14 Carolina.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Meteorologist

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Hurricane Earl Update -- Wednesday Morning

Hurricane Earl remains a very powerful hurricane today moving to the northwest. A direct path to the northwest would bring the storm directly over North Carolina by Thursday night. Fortunately, most all computer models indicate the storm will turn more to the north and north-northeast at the last minute just skirting the coast. The eye may remain just offshore possibly crossing near Cape Hatteras into the early morning hours Friday. The storm is so large though, that much of the coast, especially the Outer Banks, will be battered by the storm.

Along the Outer Banks, we expect hurricane force wind gusts (75mph+) by Thursday night through early Friday morning along with heavy rain bands. High surf could cause Highway 12 in parts of the Outer Banks to be washed over.

Just south of the Outer Banks along the Crystal Coast (Morehead City-Atlantic Beach-Emerald Isle), there's a slight chance for a brief hurricane force wind gust, but tropical storm force winds (40mph-74mph) are expected along with locally heavy rain.

Along the Cape Fear coast, occasional tropical storm force wind gusts are possible along with some rain.

Inland areas across central North Carolina should not be impacted by Earl based on its latest forecast track.

We'll have to watch very closely for the northerly turn tomorrow. There is still a possibility that that turn could take longer to occur. In that case, there could still be a dramatic change in the forecast.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina and for the latest updates.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurricane Earl -- Tuesday Morning Update

Hurricane Earl is maintaining its strength as a major storm in the Atlantic this morning as it moves west-northwest of Puerto Rico. Powerful storms like Earl often see some small fluctuations in strength, and that is what we expect to see over the coming days with this hurricane.

Earl will remain a very powerful storm as it closes in on the east coast of the United States. Fortunately, most computer models and our latest forecast continue to keep the storm just off the Carolina coastline with its closest approach coming late Thursday night and early Friday morning.

This track would keep Earl's strongest winds and heaviest rains over the Atlantic Ocean. We must monitor the storms track closely over the next couple of days, as it is still possible it may track just west of the current forecast. If a westerly track occurs, the impact of Earl on our coast could be significant.

At this point the most likely scenario is for the storm to just stay off the coast with the Outer Banks feeling the biggest effects from Earl. By late Thursday night and early Friday, tropical storm force winds and locally heavy rain from the outer bands of the storm should move across the Outer Banks. Beach erosion and some wash over of Highway 12 is possible.

The Crystal Coast area (around Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, and Emerald Isle) may also see some of the outer rain bands with tropical storm force wind gusts. Down the coast in the Cape Fear region (Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle), the effects of Earl should be minimal. Lighter rain may move through some of the immediate coast in this region with occasional wind gusts to 30 or 35mph.

On this track, inland area across North Carolina including the Triangle and Sandhills may not see a drop of rain with only clouds and a light breeze Thursday night.

Again, it is very important to note conditions could change dramatically if the storm moves just a little to the west. The forecast is still subject to change. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for updates through the week.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hurricane Earl -- Monday Morning Update

Huricane Earl continues to gain strength this morning. As of 1am, the storm has strengthened into a category 3 hurricane. This morning Earl has been pounding the northern Leeward Islands and is moving to the west-northwest. A northwest turn is expected over the next couple of the days as the storm continues to strengthen. Earl could become a category 4 storm by midweek. Most computer models bring the storm very close to the North Carolina coast late Thursday into early Friday. Based on the latest forecast, we would expect the center of Earl to remain offshore, but the outer bands of the storm could impact part of our coastline especially the Outer Banks.

It is important to note the average error in a hurricane track forecast four days away is 200-300 miles. If Earl were to track 200-300 miles west of the current forecast, the storm would have a much greater impact on North Carolina. Earl should still be watched very closely. Coastal residents should begin to make a plan in the event the storm tracks west of the current forecast path.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest on the tropics at :21 and :51 after the hour.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday Morning Tropical Update

The weather across North Carolina may be beautiful this weekend, but the Weather on the Ones team will be busy tracking the tropics!

Satellite images this morning show a very healthy Hurricane Danielle with a well defined eye. That's the sign of a very strong hurricane, and indeed, Danielle strengthened into a category 4 hurricane early this morning. Fortunately, the storm is still on track to turn out to sea and will not be a threat to land.Even though Danielle will be far off the North Carolina coast, swells from the storm will create dangerous rip currents at our beaches. Lifeguards will be very busy this weekend. The weather will be great at the beach this weekend, but if you're enjoying the nice beach weather, it will be best to stay out of the water.

Danielle is not the only storm to watch in the coming days. Earl remains a tropical storm but will likely become a hurricane over the weekend.
Earl will continue to move to the west for the next few days and is then forecast to take a more northwesterly turn early next week. While Earl may come closer to the Carolina coast than Danielle, most models still keep the storm offshore next week. However, I would caution that it is still too early to say with a lot of certainty that Earl will turn out to sea. Earl is still a storm to watch very closely.

Danielle and Earl may not be the only storms to track this weekend. A tropical wave off the coast of Africa remains disorganized this morning, but conditions are favorable for this disturbance to become a tropical depression or tropical storm this weekend. If it becomes a tropical storm, it will be named Fiona.
Tune in for our tropical updates at :21 after the hour for the latest.
Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tracking Danielle and Earl

There are two storms to watch in the Atlantic today -- Hurricane Danielle and Tropical Storm Earl. As of early this morning Danielle was a category 2 hurricane and is forecast to become a category 3 storm in the coming days. Fortunately, we are confident Danielle will take a more northerly turn this weekend taking the hurricane away from the U.S. coast and just east of Bermuda.
Even though Danielle will pass far off the Carolina coastline this weekend, the storm will still create dangerous rip currents at the North Carolina beaches. Earlier this season, the coast experienced dangerous rip currents when Colin passed off shore. One person drowned that weekend off of Ocracoke. This weekend's rip currents could be even more dangerous than when Colin passed offshore. These dangerous rip currents could begin as early as Saturday and continue into early next week. Beach-goers should avoid the water this weekend.

Behind Danielle, our attention will turn to Earl which is a fairly weak tropical storm for now. However, as Earl tracks over the warm Atlantic waters it is expected to become a hurricane this weekend. Several long range models eventually turn Earl out to sea next week. With the storm so far out and with that turn not forecast until 5 days or more from now, we cannot say with a lot of certainty that that turn will occur. We'll continue to watch the storm and keep you updated.

Danielle and Earl may not be the only two systems to watch over the coming days. It appears the area off the African coast will remain a breeding ground for tropical systems. This morning's satellite picture posted below shows another wave moving off the African coast this morning...

Stay tuned for News 14 Carolina's tropical updates at :21 after the hour for the very latest!
Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina meteorologist

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thinking About Winter Already?

The heat of Summer 2010 has a lot of folks looking forward to winter weather! This past winter was much colder and wetter than the average winter in North Carolina, but that most likely will not be the case this coming winter.

Here's a look at the long range outlook for January to March 2011 from the Climate Prediction Center. You'll notice warmer than normal temperatures are forecast along with below normal precipitation for North Carolina...

Lee Ringer

News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tuesday Morning Tropical Update

There are a couple of areas to watch in the tropics today. The first, seen in the above satellite image from this morning, is an area of low pressure in the Gulf of Mexico off the southwestern Florida coast. Conditions should be favorable over the next day or two for that low to become a tropical depression or tropical storm. Several computer models develop the low into a tropical storm this week and bring it inland around the central Gulf coast. See the image below (courtesy of Colorado State University) for some of those model tracks.

The other area to watch is the disturbance outlined as disturbance #1 in the above graphic from the National Hurricane Center. This could also become a tropical depression over the next couple of days, but even if that happens, it should stay out to sea.

Be sure to catch our tropical updates at :21 after the hour for the very latest on both of these systems.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist