Monday, August 12, 2013

Summer to arrive ... just in time for school?

I spent last week at the North Carolina coast and had planned to write about the big difference in weather this summer between the Piedmont and the beaches, but that will have to wait for another day.

There's a bigger story to talk about -- a potential shift in the weather pattern next week.

Both the Global and European weather models are predicting a big change, starting about the middle of next week (sometime around Aug. 21). If you believe what the models are saying, we'll see the start of some typical summer weather in the Carolinas.

Naturally!  It'll arrive near the end of meteorological summer, just in time for school to start.

Since the beginning of June, we've been locked -- most of the time -- in a pattern dominated by a trough in the eastern United States and Bermuda high pressure. The trough has allowed the jet stream to dip into the Southeast, and that has produced frequent rounds of stormy weather and plenty of days when high temperatures fell short of seasonal averages.

We've finally hit a string of 90-degree days, but that has been the exception. For the most part, it has been a cloudy, stormy summer.

The GFS and Euro models indicate that will change next week -- after the cold frontal passage late Tuesday, then the two or three days of unseasonable cold air damming, and then a possible tropical system over the weekend.

The Global model predicts high pressure will establish itself somewhere near the Mississippi River and dominate our weather for at least several days.  That would indicate hot and dry weather for the latter one-third of August.  The European model predicts the jet stream will be pushed back into Canada (where it typically exists in the summer), and the Southeast will be under the influence of a Bermuda high.  That would mean hot, sultry conditions, with a few afternoon and evening storms.

Either of those solutions would be a lot more typical of what we expect in the Carolinas during the summer.

Of course, those are 10-day forecasts, and the accuracy is a lot less stellar than short-range predictions.  It will be interesting to see how this develops.


Thad MacMahon said...

Great news. Better delayed than not at all. The arrival of this hot, dry weather--if it does pan out--should be beneficial in allowing the ground, still saturated from the monsoon spring and early summer, to dry up.

And yes, there are some who will instantly complain that they "have to work outside in it." For these people, the weather will provide an opportunity to "endure it like man" if that still applies in this soft age.