Sunday, September 16, 2012

Panthers' game day weather ... and a look ahead

If you're headed to the Panthers' home opener today against the New Orleans Saints, be prepared to get wet.

It's not a 100 percent lock-cinch certainty that you'll get wet today at Bank of America Stadium, but the chances are certainly higher than that of, say, the Cleveland Browns winning the Super Bowl this season.

At 10:30 a.m., there were two clusters of showers near Charlotte.  One area stretched from near University City up to north of Salisbury. That rain won't affect the Panthers' game.

The other cluster of showers covered Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties, and it's moving toward Charlotte.

There's one thing working in the favor of Panthers' fans.  The dome of high pressure which has covered our area for the past week was extremely dry, and the atmosphere became very dry. So it's taking time for the increased moisture to work its way down through the atmosphere to the ground.  That's why we've had only sprinkles over most of the region so far today.

But as the day goes on, the atmosphere will moisten, and rain will be more likely. Those showers to the west of Charlotte would be in the vicinity of Bank of America Stadium well before game time, if they hold together.  As of 10:30 a.m., there's nothing on the radar immediately behind them.

Any rain that falls today will be showery (rather than constant), but it could last for 45 minutes or an hour.  Thunderstorm chances are low, but they're not zero.  Computer models indicate there'll be a bit of instability in the atmosphere Sunday afternoon, so a storm could develop.  But rain showers will be more likely.

The National Weather Service is giving it a 40 percent chance for rain Sunday afternoon.

Looking ahead: The computer models are waffling a bit on this, but they're consistent in predicting a strong low pressure system to form in the Gulf of Mexico and then move northeast on Monday and Tuesday. This is almost like a winter pattern. Those winter Gulf lows are responsible for our snow and ice.

In mid-September, obviously, we'll have rain to worry about.

If the center of the low slides up the Blue Ridge mountains, the Charlotte area could get a couple inches of rain. If the center stays farther west, cutting a path up through western Georgia and central or eastern Tennessee, we'd escape the heavy rain but would be in a severe thunderstorm corridor.

We'll be able to get a better on idea on this late Sunday or Monday.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

In other words, we'll know exactly what weather to expect at the game either Sunday night or Monday.

Anonymous said...

"We'll have rain to WORRY about".
It's just some rain Mr. Hype - not a terrorist attack.

Anonymous said...

I'm already scared. Hey, as long as the long range forecast of cool weather doesn't change I'll deal with those scary drops of water falling from the sky.