The Week Ahead: Wet n' Wild! (May 14-May 20)

Good afternoon, Foothills Weather Nation!

You might have seen some of the posts we've made this week about a pattern that is digging it's heels into the region, but in case you missed it here is a brief summary:

An airmass that is brimming with moisture and warmth has began to make it's presence known this past weekend and will continue to build over the region. While it certainly isn't a tropical depression yet it is completely fair to see that we do have a probability in one within the next 2-5 days. Here's the latest map generated by the NHC.

 If this does come into fruition this won't be much more than a tropical storm at absolute best, but it is jumping the gun on hurricane season which technically doesn't start until June 1st. This has been a relatively common occurrence in the couple of years. Expect to see updates from us on this potential storm. 

Near term (Today and Monday)

It's a hot one out there today with an abundance of moisture and sun without much wind to relieve us. Diurnal highs for today and tomorrow are right around 90 degrees, partly cloudy conditions, mildly low probability (20%) of precipitation. Synoptically speaking North Carolina will not be experiencing any upper atmospheric weather shifts (ie no frontal passages, no troughs, no ridges) for the next week. What this means is that any storms that pop up will be driven mainly via diurnal convection. For today and tomorrow our convective capabilities are slightly stifled as subsidence and warm air aloft negates probabilities. Diurnal convection functions best when adequate moisture and vertical lift can occur, so subsidence is our saving grace. Diurnal lows for tonight and Monday night will be relatively warm in the mid 60's. 

Short term forecast (Tuesday-Friday)

Subsidence subsides and it will be as if someone turned on the summer time storm machine. Tuesday through Friday we see strong precipitation probabilities of 50-80% chance of rain and thunderstorms. Probability for severe weather at this time will depend on the storm cell in question, but it would be fair to find yourself and your property prepared for a couple of severe events this week.

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The above graphic is our convective outlook for 3 days out (Tuesday) which shows the greatest threat being thunderstorms for the region. This has opportunity and time to develop and we will be monitoring conditions closely to keep you mentally prepared for the stormy days ahead.

Diurnal highs for our work week will be a little less hot as we see temperatures snuggle closer to the 80 degree mark instead of the 90ish degrees we've felt recently. Winds will be mild to moderate with of course some localized gusts with each thunderstorm. Cloud to ground lightning is a strong threat so please exercise caution whether you get caught outside, find yourself under an awning or even inside your own home. Being struck by lightning is deadly. Nights during this time will likely start off stormy with little dips in convective probability into the hours beyond midnight, but with the excess heat and moisture it's possible for it to rain through the night. Expect nightly lows to maintain being in the mid 60s.

Long term (Saturday, Sunday, and beyond?)

There doesn't seem to be any differentiation with the work week and the following weekend so batten down the hatches because it will be an eventful weekend. Precipitation probabilities in the 60-70% range, possibility of thunderstorms, daily highs hovering around 80, nightly lows in the mid 60s, south-southwesterly flow. 

So where does this leave us? How long do we expect this pattern to persist? 

This particular blocking weather pattern is a classic summer-y pattern that the longer it settles in the more that needs to happen to help chip away at it's foundation. For right now we can see that it will stay for a week, and the GFS does suggest a hiccup in the pattern late May, but with that being so far out we can likely see this pattern persist without pause straight into June. It's starting to look like summer in NC!

Thanks for reading. Keep checking in with us daily for updates!

Sinead Lockhart