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

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