Monday, May 16, 2011

Wet and chilly for a few days

Not every weather system zips along in the jet stream.

Sometimes, a system is cut off and, basically, gets stuck in a geographic area. This happens on occasion with upper-level low pressure systems, and they're commonly known as "cut-off lows."

Such a system will hover over parts of the eastern United States over the next few days, and it will bring rainy, chilly weather to the Charlotte region.

The low pressure system is crossing the Carolinas today, and it contains some cold air in the higher levels of the atmosphere. That is helping create instability, and the result will be showers and probably a few thunderstorms this afternoon.

With cold air aloft, any thunderstorm that develops could produce hail.

These cut-off lows tend to meander, since there's no jet stream to guide them along. On Tuesday, the low is expected to be somewhere over northeast North Carolina or southern Virginia. It'll still be close enough to bring us showers, and with clouds and chilly air, we'll be lucky to climb above the mid 60s in Charlotte.

That's about 15 degrees below average for this time of year.

By Wednesday, the cut-off low will drift a bit farther north, which means showers chances will diminish (but not disappear ... many areas will get another shower or two) and temperatures will reach the low 70s.

And by Thursday, the low pressure system is forecast to be far enough north and east that the Charlotte region will return to more seasonal conditions.

If you're looking ahead to Friday's and Saturday's events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the forecast looks good. High temperatures Saturday are expected to reach the middle 80s.


Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks today was too "chilly" deserves to spend the rest of their lives in Florida where you can melt to your hearts content. I say let the cut off low stick around for a few months.

Anonymous said...

I agree.... I live in Florida after living in Charlotte for a dozen wonderful years!!! It's hot a humid here and would love to be back in Charlotte! Gorgeous city to live in!

Anonymous said...

Why on earth did you move to Florida? I've been warning you all for 5 years what a hellhole it is. I was there for 17 miserable years. And with any luck I'll be back in upstate NY by next summer.

Anonymous said...

Ditto here! Today was very nice! I was born & raised here, moved to Orlando for 16 years! The ONLY time I miss it is in Jan and Feb!

But now we have rain for the rest of the week :-(

Anonymous said...

I've lived here for 51 years. Over 80 is too hot below 45 is too cold.

Anonymous said...

that omega block sure does like us!

Anonymous said...

Nobody ever said it was "too chilly". The article said it was "chilly". As it said, it's going to be 15 degrees below normal. That would be "chilly" for this time of year.

Anonymous said...

Florida is one thing, but the most God-awful place on the earth has got to be Columbia, South Carolina in the Summer.

Anonymous said...

Try the Washington, D.C., area in the summer. In the days before air conditioning, the combination of heat and humidity (oh, the humidity!) qualified federal employees for a special hazardous-duty stipend.