Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Strong Storms Possible Late Wednesday Night into Thursday

A potent storm system is moving across the southeastern US today and could bring strong storms to the Carolinas late tonight and tomorrow. Early this morning severe storms have been marching across Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The rain and storms will be slow to move into our part of North Carolina leaving most of the daytime hours Wednesday with not much more than a few sprinkles or light showers.

Widespread rain will likely move into central and eastern North Carolina tonight. A few strong storms will be possible at that time. The threat for severe weather should mainly start around 10pm for the Triangle and Sandhills and continue through the overnight hours. The threat should come more toward early morning for coastal North Carolina but could start before daybreak. There is a slight chance that a few overnight storms may produce an isolated tornado. This is especially dangerous because of the overnight timing. Many people will be asleep and will not be aware of any warnings. Be sure to have a NOAA Weather Radio in standby mode tonight to alert you to any warnings in your area. Over 80% of tornado deaths in North Carolina occur at night.

Showers and storms will continue off and on through the day Thursday. The severe threat will come more from damaging wind gusts from any strong storms during the daytime. The rain and storms should come to an end by late afternoon and evening. Rainfall amounts should range between 1 and 2 inches across much of our area.

Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for updates. We'll be here around the clock for the latest information through the day and night.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

More Rain Needed

Monday evening's showers and thunderstorms some much needed rain to the region, but more is needed.

Here's a look rainfall from Monday -
  • Raleigh (NCSU): 1.10"
  • Fayetteville: 0.80"
  • Durham: 0.79"
  • Wilmington: 0.77"
  • Clayton: 0.75"
  • Rocky Mount-Wilson: 0.74"
  • Chapel Hill: 0.71"
  • Cherry Point: 0.65"
  • Jacksonville: 0.65"
  • Raleigh-Durham Airport: 0.62"
  • Goldsboro: 0.63"
  • Whiteville: 0.63"
  • Beaufort: 0.60"
  • Oak Island: 0.54"
  • Kure Beach: 0.47"

Even with Monday's rain, the rainfall deficit stands at 3.84" since January 1 and 4.50" since December 1 at the Raleigh-Durham Airport. As noted in the above drought map, coastal North Carolina is not currently experiencing drought conditions like central parts of the state. The rainfall deficit for Wilmington since January 1 now stands at just 1.02"

The recent dry conditions are concerning because the time period of October through April is critical to recharge water levels in lakes, rivers, and ground water. Ground water levels have been especially low in parts of central North Carolina.

Dry weather is in the forecast through the rest of the week. However, it appears rain will return Sunday. Amounts are still uncertain at this time, and is often the case heading into the spring months, we'll have to watch for strong storms. Stay tuned to News 14 Carolina for the latest forecasts.

Lee Ringer
News 14 Carolina Meteorologist