Thursday, October 21, 2010

When is cold air coming?

Don't get me wrong ... I enjoy warm -- even hot -- weather. But I also have a calendar on the refrigerator, and it says we're in the final third of October. And like a lot of other people, I'm wondering when that first blast of cold air will arrive.

And since my aerated, fertilized and seeded lawn could use more water (Wednesday's .11 of an inch is merely a start), I also wonder when rain will return.

There won't be cold weather or rain over the next several days. It'll reach the upper 70s today, cool to the lower 70s Friday behind a weak cold front, then recover to near 80 degrees Saturday, Sunday and Monday. And it'll be dry.

So when is the change coming?

You won't find the answer in the long-range forecasts.

This morning, I checked the 10-14 day predictions from the federal government (NOAA) and two of the best-known private companies, Accu-Weather and the Weather Channel. See if this sounds like a consensus:

NOAA: Above-average chance of rain, with above-average temperatures over the next 6-10 days and average temperatures overall over 10-14 days. That seems to indicate NOAA meteorologists think it'll be warm for 6-10 days, then cool down.

Weather Channel: Basically average to above-average temperatures for the next 10 days, with a good chance of rain next Tuesday and Thursday.

Accu-Weather: Solid chance of rain next week, but dry otherwise between now and Nov. 4 (the next two weeks). Their temperature forecasts differ widely from NOAA and the Weather Channel, with the prediction of a real cooldown for Halloween weekend. They're talking about daytime highs in the upper 50s on Oct. 30 and 31. Then they forecast a warmup in the first week of November.

I saw another forecast yesterday from New York-based Weather 2000 Inc., a private firm, and its meteorologists are calling for a cold air outbreak over the eastern United States for Halloween weekend.

There's a wild card in the forecast -- down in the Caribbean.

A tropical depression formed Thursday morning, and it probably will become Tropical Storm Richard by later today. Most computer models predict the system will become a hurricane in a few days.

The computers forecast the storm will cross Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and if it hasn't been wrecked by a trip over land and some southwest winds that could shear the top off the system, it could turn north or northeast in the Gulf of Mexico.

Should that system reach the Gulf coast of the United States, especially from Alabama eastward, it probably would link with a cold front that should be moving into the Southeast by the middle or end of next week. And that would bring a lot of rain to the Charlotte area.

Let's see ... by my quick count, the previous three paragraphs have the word "probably" twice; the words "could," "would" or "should" six times; and the word "if" once. So let's wait on that one, OK?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

I personally see no need or good reason for cold air. I cna't talk to my neighbors in the winter because we're all shivering. It takes 4 times as long to go anywhere because first you have to get 4 layers of clothing on the kids, then scrape the ice off the car, then on kid has to go to the bathroom after strugglin with all the clothes, then if it's early morning it's icy so there's a higher risk of an accident. Then it take 20 minutes to buckle them in the car because the car seat harness can't handle the thickness of the kids. It's dark. People are sick, literally, with colds and flu. If I leave somehting in the car I can't just run out and get it without putting a coat and shoes on. My wedding ring constantly slides off my finger because my hands are cold and my fingers get skinny. My lips get chapped. My skin gets dry. I HATE IT. The only reason I'm not living in Key West and missing all of that, is because my wife refuses to.

Anonymous said...

I am shocked no one has pulled the "go back up north" card yet, Steve! :) I am ready for some nice crisp weather myself. It's October for goodness sake! 8:51, I dont think the writer was talking about wanting January/February conditions here (as you are describing in a much exaggerated way), but rather, for the temperatures to be more seasonal for where we are on the calendar. Pumpkin patch visiting and apple picking are no fun in 80 degree weather, let's save that kinda stuff for May/June.

Anonymous said...

I've been looking at the temperatures in context. I've lived in South or North Carolina my entire life. When I was young, I never remember wearing a coat to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. The current temps are, in my mind, normal.

Anonymous said...

I wish there was some news to discuss....eh, lets just talk about something ELSE we can't control.

Anonymous said...

Cold air is coming, going to be a cold winter. Watch out for February and March, Cold, wet, Snowy and Icy.

Anonymous said...

Another person from NE Ohio! I grew up in Lorain County, very close to Cuyahoga Co border. I agree w/ you on this, Steve, I personally have had it with the outrageously warm weather we've had this year. When the calendar flips to Sept/Oct I am READY for fall weather (temps in the 50's/60's). And believe me, if my husband could find a decent job closer to my hometown, I would be thrilled to get out of the South, where I have roasted for the past 16 years!

Anonymous said...

How come you never hear anything out of those "Global Warming is a Conspiracy" Finks when it's 90 degrees in October?

Anonymous said...

Maybe because it has not gotten to 90 degrees this October...easy on the insults too.

http://www.weather.com/outlook/driving/interstate/monthly/28209

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Lake County in NE Ohio (Willoughby!) I remember the blizzards of the 70s fondly, but I was a kid. I might feel differently now as an adult...

As to the Autumnal weather, or lack thereof, I agree! I like my mornings to have SNAP in them and my days to be crisp and cool. Perfect apple and pumpkin weather.

I've been in the South 26 years and despite what other commenters say, I don't think there is a "normal" weather for Fall around here. It is what it is.

Anonymous said...

ive only lived here for two years now and am originally from buffalo new york. i think its hilarious that when theres a little snow people are freaking out, school is canceled..ect. my kids dont know how lucky they will have it i used to have to wait at the bus stop in snow up to your knees and everyday hoping school would get canceled because u couldnt even see out your window only to still have to go.

DGP said...

I'm with 9:11 am. I am a native and this is normal for October. It is why this in my favorite time of year, warm and no humidity. The "crisp" weather and leaves changing colors should not happen here until mid-november. I hate cold weather and you can keep your northern snow!

Anonymous said...

I am a native...don't talk about the way we deal with snow. Move back to Buffalo. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I pray these mild temperatures last as long as possible. I am unemployed and unable to afford huge cooling or heating bills. This past summer was horrible. I spent many days baking inside my home. So I would like to put off freezing inside my home this winter as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

I just bought my Winter flip-flops.

Anonymous said...

This is typical october weather... I have been here my entire life. The longer winter stays away, the better.

LizFun said...

Just moved to Long Island after spending my entire life in Charlotte and here's my prediction: As usual - (95% of the time) the weather will remain dry and mild (70's & '80's for highs) until it's time to put on that skimpy Halloween costume. Then suddenly it will turn cold or rainy - probably both - just in time to ruin the Halloween plans. Then it will turn mild again for most of the rest of the fall and winter.

Weatherman said...

The North Carolina Piedmont is slowly but surely turning in an arid semi-desert.

Check the daily forecast: most of the time we have clear skies and extremely low humidity/dewpoints during the day, large temperature swings (hot and sunny in the day, clear and cold at night), no clouds in sky unless a front moves in. That's desert weather. I like low humidity, but without regular rain this region will become even more dry, dusty, brown, and infertile whereas before it was moist, fertile, lush, and green.

This is especially concerning because water supplies are rapidly dwindling in the region and the aquifers are being pumped much faster than they can be recharged, especially with the population growth in the last 10-20 years. And prolonged droughts have already devastated agriculture in the state and will continue to do so. Without regular rain crops cannot be grown in the state without pumping ancient aquifers dry in a matter of decades.

Without regular rainfall the reservoirs which supply the water supply for most in the Piedmont - Mountain Island Lake, Lake Norman, High Rock Lake, etc - will continue to drop until they become useless as a water supply and nothing more than stagnant ponds.

Desert Skies said...

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche believed that very dry (non-humid) air and cloudless skies are conditions for brilliant thought and even genius due to its quickening effects on the metabolism; to quote:

"Just list the places where there are and have been brilliant people, where wit, refinement, and malice belonged to happiness, where genius found its home almost of necessity: all of them have superbly dry air. Paris, Provence, Florence, Jerusalem, Athens - these names prove something: genius depends on dry air, on clear skies - that is, on a rapid metabolism, on the possibility of drawing again and again on great, even tremendous quantities of strength."

- http://www.nietzschespirit.com/files/Genius_Depends_on_Dry_Air.html