Thursday, August 30, 2012

Stormy start for convention; but football dry

There's a lot on the plate for the Charlotte region in coming days -- the Democratic National Convention, high school football, the start of college football, Labor Day weekend, outdoor festivals -- and the weather will have a big impact on all of it.

Will we enjoy Chamber of Commerce weather for the next seven days, or will Charlotte share the fate of Tampa, where a passing tropical storm stole the headlines from the first two days of the Republican National Convention?

DNC organizers invested a lot in hopes that Charlotte's weather would behave, and there's a chance they might pay for that.

In short, the next few days look good, but the middle of the seven-day period isn't quite so rosy.  There are some problems on the horizon.

I'll be updating this blog frequently during the next week, because the weather will be so important -- not only to the tens of thousands involved in the DNC, but the many other thousands who are going to football games, festivals, or planning Labor Day trips to the mountains or beaches.

To make it easy, let's approach this day-by-day:

Outlook: Tropical Storm Isaac set the atmosphere in motion, causing moisture to move northward into the Carolinas from the Gulf for the past two days.  That ends today. Isaac is weakening and drifting northwest. As the day progresses, high pressure from the north begins to dominate. There'll be a few storms today, but they'll mostly be well to the west.  Look for partly cloudy skies (after morning fog dissipates) and humid conditions, with highs in the upper 80s.

High school football: A nice evening -- shirtsleeves weather. Probably no rain.


 Outlook: An easy forecast. High pressure dominates, so it's rain-free and summer-like. Expect an old-fashioned summer day to end August, with mostly sunny skies, quite a bit of humidity, and highs around 90 degrees.

High school football: Another nice evening. Temperatures in the 80s, dropping to the upper 70s.


Outlook: Another nice day, like Friday. But far to the northwest, the remnants of Isaac are making a turn to the east, crossing Illinois and Indiana. By late Saturday, moisture starts creeping back into the Carolinas.

In Charlotte: Several outdoor pre-convention events are planned, and they'll take place under partial sunshine, hot and humid weather, with highs near 90.  The Matthews Alive festival will be steamy, but rain-free.

College football: It should be a nice day, although hot. Any evening games in the mountains face the interruption of a storm.

Mountains and beaches: This is the last day in which I feel safe, saying the weather should be mostly nice in the high country. A few storms will develop there in the afternoon, but for the most part, conditions will be summer-like at both locales.


Outlook: The remnants of Isaac move from Indiana into Ohio, and the atmosphere across the Carolinas becomes a bit more unstable.  That means a few afternoon and evening storms develop. Skies are partly cloudy, with highs in the upper 80s.

DNC and other Charlotte events: The greatest chance of storms will be in the late afternoon and evening. Otherwise, conditions look OK.

Mountains and beaches: Scattered thunderstorms will develop in the mountains in the afternoon.  The beaches should be nice again.


Outlook: Here's where it starts getting dicey. There are indications that a stalled front and low pressure could be weather-makers. Officially, the forecast is for partly sunny skies with a chance of showers and thunderstorms. But meteorologists say the rain chances could be much higher, depending on the position of any stalled front.

DNC: Convention organizers scheduled an all-day outdoor festival in uptown.  At this point, let's just say ... it could get stormy.


The farther out a forecast gets, the lower the confidence level. And that's certainly the case for the rest of the DNC, for Tuesday through next Thursday.

The National Weather Service is playing the caution card, forecasting a blanket 30 percent chance of showers and storms Tuesday and Wednesday, with drier conditions Thursday. The Thursday forecast is a biggie, of course, with the DNC's major event, President Obama's speech, scheduled to highlight an all-day program at Bank of America Stadium.

But a new tropical depression is forming in the Atlantic, and it probably will become Tropical Storm Leslie by the end of today. Climatology favors Leslie curving northward into the open Atlantic, but it will bear watching.

Perhaps more importantly, one of the computer models, the European, forecasts the development of low pressure off the Carolinas coast early next week. Pat Moore, of the National Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C., said this morning that he "wasn't sure what to make of that," but it also will need to be watched.


Anonymous said...

Hi Steve-

When it comes to the DNC, I tend to agree with your double entendre- "the farther out (they) get, the lower the confidence level.

Anonymous said...

I hope it doesn't rain too much, nothing smells worse than wet liberals.

Anonymous said...

Steve -
I know you really, really want to get everyone all concerned about next week.
As we have seen hundreds of times - any forecast more than three days out is unreliable.
The weather will be ok for the DNC.
How about concentrating on real vs. manufactured news for the next eight days?