Friday, September 24, 2010

Adios, 90's. Hello, rain.

I like hot weather, so I say this with some sadness:

Kiss the 90's goodbye until next year.

Sure, it's only Sept. 24, and we've had 90-degree days well into October in the past, but it sure looks like the 90-degree-plus readings today and possible Saturday will be the end for this year. A dramatic change in the weather pattern is coming.

This doesn't mean warm weather is going away. In fact, you'd better prepare for plenty of above-average temperatures, because all signs are pointing to a mild winter.

But the 90's? They could be history, for this year.

It'll leave us just short of the all-time record of 88 days with 90 degrees or more, set in 1954. Today will be the 86th day this year with 90 or higher in Charlotte, putting 2010 in second place all-time. We might hit 90 again Saturday, for 87 days. Then the change comes.

An upper-atmospheric low pressure system will set up over the eastern United States this weekend, replacing the high pressure heat pump which has parked itself over the Southeast for weeks. That means high temperatures will be in the 70's and 80's for at least the next two weeks. By that time, we'll be well into October, and the latest 90-degree day on record in Charlotte is Oct. 13 (set in that miserably hot summer of 1954 ... we'll need to take a look at that summer one day in this blog).

Another change is coming this weekend -- rain.

We haven't had a major rainfall in Charlotte since the middle of August, but a stalled cold front and a low pressure system will be in the area from late Saturday into Tuesday. Showers and possibly thunderstorms are likely throughout that period.

In fact, Sunday could bring a steady rain, with temperatures only in the lower 70's in the afternoon. Sounds like a fabulous day at Bank of America Stadium, watching the Panthers and Bengals.

The rain is badly needed, and there are signs of additional rainy systems arriving in the area during the next two weeks.

Hurricane Update: Tropical Storm Matthew is moving westward at a pretty good clip at midday Friday, and the betting now is that it never will affect the United States. It is expected to move into Central America, perhaps delivering catastrophic heavy rains in Nicaragua and Honduras. But the system is forecast to dissipate in those countries.

Earlier, computer models indicated Matthew might curve back out to sea, slide northward, and take a run at Florida.

But the Southeast is far from off the hook. Low pressure remains in the Caribbean, and many meteorologist say another system probably will develop there in the next few days. And with the Southeastern U.S. high pressure system having moved offshore, there will be an opening for any hurricane in the Caribbean to push northward toward the Gulf coast of Florida and Alabama.


Anonymous said...

"But the 90's? They could be history, for this year."

It's about time.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness. Summers here stink.

Anonymous said...


... but fall is absolutely gorgeous. :)

Anonymous said...

I know it's the South and it's supposed to be hot in the summer, but this summer has been stupid hot. I am VERY ready for cool weather!

Anonymous said...

Don't count on "plenty of above average temperatures" for the upcoming winter. Patterns have a way of disappearing with Pacific Ocean current shifts. Saw it in 86-87 (hotter summer than this one-in terms of 100+ days) and in 93-94 (also hotter in 100+ days) Nasty winters followed SO, we'll see,

Anonymous said...

Music to my ears - planning a trip to Charlotte in a couple of weeks. The 90's are bad enough, just be glad you don't have that many 100+ degree days!

Larry said...

This rain you speak of... we have heard it in the stories of the elders and seen in written in the journals of the ancients, but are we to believe that it is to come again in our lifetime?

Anonymous said...

What is rain?

Chick acobs said...

Hey Steve! Welcome to the world of Carolina weather blogging!

If you don't mind, I'll let my readers know you're out here. Obviously, my blog is Sandhill-centric, but I imagine folks from our neck of the woods who have kind up your way would enjoy it.

BTW, there are some other very good blogs you might want to check out: Alan Huffman has a solid daily offering at Matt East has a daily update from the hills at And of course, feel free to check out my Weather Permitting at

Welcome back to the fight. This time, I know our side will win.