Monday, October 11, 2010

Hot, but no record; and tropics still active

The temperature is soaring into the middle 80s this Monday afternoon, and while the National Weather Service says a record high is possible today at the Greenville-Spartanburg station (the record there is 86), nothing like that is expected in Charlotte.

Still, this mid-October heat wave is what you'd expect, given the type of steamy summer we just came through.

Today's high is expected to reach 85 or 86 degrees, and the record for the date is 90, set in 1939. More of the same is predicted Tuesday, when the record high is 89, set in 1919.

All of that got me wondering about the latest 90-degree and 80-degree days ever in Charlotte.

Our latest-ever reading of 90 degrees was on Oct. 13, in 1954. That was the year in which numerous heat records were set, and I've heard stories from old-timers that it was an absolutely brutal summer.

Our latest 85-degree day was on Nov. 2, 1961. That year featured a version of a heat wave at the beginning of November, with the temperature reaching the mid 80s daily from Nov. 1-4. Incidentally, in case you're wondering, we got 13 inches of snow that winter (1961-62) in Charlotte. It snowed three times in January 1962.

Finally, our latest 80-degree day happened just three years ago -- an 80-degree reading Dec. 10, 2007.

Our earliest 80-degree day was Feb. 2, 1989.

Tropical Update: As of 2 p.m. Monday, the National Hurricane Center still hadn't declared an area of stormy weather off the coast of Honduras to be a tropical storm, but it likely will happen later this afternoon. It will be Tropical Storm Paula, and the computer models are all over the board with predictions on where the system will go.

I haven't seen any predictions, however, that the system will affect the U.S. mainland. The three most likely scenarios seem to be: a.) Moving inland in Belize and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula, and falling apart; b.) Drifting southward into Central America; c.) Moving northeast, clipping the west coast of Cuba and then curving east, near the Bahamas, and then out into the open Atlantic Ocean.

The storm that will be Paula has formed in the same area of disturbed weather that produced Tropical Storm Otto last week, and it might not be finished. Some meteorologists think another system could develop in the same general area later this week.


Anonymous said...

How much of an affect does a hotter, drier than normal summer versus a cooler, wetter summer have of the at-peak date of the leaf color change?

Anonymous said...

And the scum that runs my office building thought it would be a good day to turn the heat on. Thanks, pal.

Waldsterben said...

Judging by the average humidity levels during the day in many areas of the Piedmont (especially in the cities), this region is becoming a desert. During the day humidity levels hover around 30% or so in some areas, or even less: that's desert weather, folks.

The Piedmont is becoming desertified due to the loss of native hardwood broadleaf trees. With no native tree canopy to interact with the atmosphere of the area, regional rainfall will not form and humidity levels during the daytime often dip to desert-like levels (around 30-35%) with not a cloud in sight.

Basically, the same thing that happened in North Africa, southern Spain, southern Italy/Sicily, Greece, Turkey, Palestine, and so on is currently happening in much of the NC Piedmont...our region is becoming a desert.

"Latium, Campania, Sardinia, Sicily, Spain, Northern Africa, as Roman granaries, were successively reduced to exhaustion. Abandoned land in Latium and Campania turned into swamps, in Northern Africa into desert. The forest-clad hills were denuded. 'The decline of the Roman Empire is a story of deforestation, soil exhaustion and erosion,' wrote Mr. G. V. Jacks in The Rape of the Earth. 'From Spain to Palestine there are no forests left on the Mediterranean littoral, the region is pronouncedly arid instead of having the mild humid character of forest-clad land, and most of its former bounteously rich top-soil is lying at the bottom of the sea.'" -