Thursday, October 14, 2010

That wet stuff? It's called "rain"

That strange wet stuff falling from the sky shortly before daybreak this morning is called "rain."

Once upon a time, we saw rain frequently, but since the middle of August, it has fallen only a few times. And it won't last long today.

A cold front is crossing the Charlotte region this morning, and it has touched off scattered showers and even a few thundershowers. People who live near Lake Norman and across the Cabarrus County line into Kannapolis got a middle-of-the-night wake-up call, about 3 a.m., when a small but strong thunderstorm crossed that area.

The storm produced winds of up to 40 mph, but it was short-lived.

The rain that's falling this morning across the region will move swiftly off to the east, and clearing will follow today. It could be the middle of next week before we have a solid chance of rain again.

We're also still watching for the possibility of gusty winds on Friday, especially in the mountains.

Winter Outlook: Brad Panovich, the chief meteorologist with our news partner, WCNC-TV, has come out with his winter forecast.

Brad is calling for rather mild temperatures and less snow than usual in the Charlotte area -- but a higher-than-average chance of ice storms.

Brad notes that we have a La Nina pattern this year, which typically means warm and dry winters in the Southeast. But there also is a negative Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) condition, which tends to drive cold air fairly deep in the eastern United States.

He predicts the main storm path will remain north of the Charlotte region, but we'll be close enough to get hit a few times. And if I'm translating his forecast properly, the NAO will drive cold air far enough south on occasion to leave us prone to ice storms. The threat would be freezing rain, rather than snow, because La Nina will prevent us from getting into the truly cold air.

His forecast also calls for dry and warm conditions along the eastern third of the Carolinas.

Here's a link:


Waldsterben said...

At least its a break from the normal weather pattern...Monday: clear,Tuesday: clear, Wednesday: clear, Thursday: clear, etc, day after day. Nice, but boring and not conducive to the greenness typical of NC. In other words, we routinely now have desert-like weather during the day (though it's a bit more humid at night and in the mornings).

Could you possibly do a post about the very low humidity levels that are now routine in the region as compared to the past? In many areas of the NC Piedmont during the daytime - especially in many of the cities and suburbs - humidity levels now routinely dip down in to the 30-40% range or even less with correspondingly low dew points (think of all of those perfectly clear, dry, and cloudless non-humid days), and those very low humidity levels are not historically typical of a temperate and mildly moist forested region such as central NC and are generally found only in desert regions. I like low humidity, as it makes the heat much less oppressive and lets people think more clearly and quickly, but it is a worrying trend because the evidence suggests that such low humidity is leaving this historically moist, green, lush, and forested region much more arid, brown, water scarce, and generally dessicated.

Anonymous said...

Your writing is insulting and should be discontinued immediately.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see the rain, even if it's minimal. It's been entirely too dry around here.

I do love those long-range winter forecasts...they're really just supposition at this point, and the forecasters are always hedging their bets. There's always x-data that says one thing, then y-data that offsets the x-data. So no one ever really knows just what we're gonna get.