Monday, October 15, 2012

Stormy start, but then a nice week

Our work week is getting off to a stormy start Monday morning across the Charlotte region, with the passage of a cold front across the Carolinas.

But nicer weather will follow, and the advance outlook (see below) indicates we're in store for some warm and dry weather.

Heavy rain fell for several hours Monday across the foothills, and the line of showers and thunderstorms finally reached the immediate Charlotte area around 9 a.m.

The National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., says a few of the storms could carry 40 mph wind gusts, and heavy rain likely will fall for relatively brief periods of time as the showers and thunderstorms slowly move through. An outbreak of severe weather is not expected, although severe thunderstorms could develop this afternoon across the eastern half of North Carolina.

The changeover to nicer conditions will come rather quickly, meteorologists say.

Sunshine will mix with the clouds by later Monday afternoon, especially west of Charlotte, and clearing should overspread the area tonight.

That will set the stage for three days of nice weather.  With mostly sunny skies Tuesday and Wednesday, we'll have highs of 68 degrees Tuesday and then in the lower 70s Wednesday. There'll be more clouds Thursday, but temperatures will climb into the middle 70s before another cold front crosses the area Thursday night.

A few showers are possible Thursday night and Friday, followed by a return to sunshine and cooler temperatures -- highs in the middle 60s Friday, upper 60s Saturday, and lower 70s Sunday.

Looking ahead: The Climate Prediction Center's 8-14 day forecast calls for a good chance of above-average temperatures and a very good chance of drier-than-average conditions in the Carolinas. In fact, that's the forecast for the eastern half of the United States.

In the tropics:  It's easy to forget that we're still in hurricane season, because the United States has largely escaped the impact of tropical weather systems this year (with the exception of Hurricane Isaac in late August).

But there's a storm out in the Atlantic, and it could threaten Bermuda late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Rafael is a strong tropical storm and expected to reach hurricane status today. The National Hurricane Center's forecast track carries Rafael over Bermuda, possibly as a weak Category 1 hurricane. The storm will curve northeast and never affect the U.S. mainland.