Friday, October 4, 2013

Our weekend weather ... and Karen

Our surge of late-summer weather has a few more days left in it before whatever is left of Tropical Storm Karen affects some portion of the Carolinas.

We'll talk about Karen later.  First, the next few days ...

If you were looking for one of those crisp autumn weekends, this isn't it. 

The good news is the weather won't get in the way of any outdoor events. It'll be shorts-and-T shirt weather at high school football games Friday night, and you'll need sunscreen and plenty of water if you're planning to attend a daytime college game Saturday.

The typical Saturday morning events -- youth sports, golf, tennis, festivals -- will go off without a hitch.

We're looking at plenty of sun and daytime temperatures in the middle 80s. Those temperatures are about 10 degrees above average for this time of year, although they're not in the record-level category.

Sunday will be the transition day. It will be dry, for most people, and the warm weather will continue. But a cold front will be approaching from the west, and tropical moisture from Karen will be surging north from the Gulf of Mexico. That will mean a steady increase in clouds during the day. A few showers could develop, mostly to the west of Charlotte.

That sets the stage for Karen.

The computer models are doing what computer models often do -- shooting out a number of widely-differing forecasts. Two trends have developed over the last 18 hours, though:

-- A slowing down of Karen's movement. The storm is not expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast until early Sunday. That's about 18 hours later than what we thought yesterday.

-- An increasing chance that Karen stays south of Charlotte. This is related to the previous point. The storm's remnants are expected to merge with the advancing cold front. On a faster track, that merger would have taken place Sunday, and Karen's remnants would glide up the front, across the western Carolinas.

But if it happens later, which looks increasingly likely, the front will be farther east. The latest National Hurricane Center forecast track shows Karen moving northeast across Georgia and then taking something of a right turn across South Carolina.

Either way, the Charlotte area stands to get rain and breezy conditions Monday.

I had some spare time Thursday and looked at the archives, to see what a track across South Carolina would mean.  Often, it means the heaviest rain falls well south of Charlotte. But Jake Wimberley of the National Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C., noted that when Hurricane Ida followed such a path in 2009, it brought 3 to 5 inches of rain in much of the area.

We'll keep an eye on this through the weekend.

In the meantime, enjoy summer in October.


Anonymous said...

This story translated: We have no idea what the small weather system is going to do, but since we predicted an extremely active hurricane season and didn't get one we have to hype this up to be the storm of the century. Tomorrow morning we will start showing evacuation routes out of the city....just in case in rains.

Anonymous said...

Can the Observer get any sillier about this?

Archiguy said...

This constant criticism of the weather stories is getting old. Where's the beef?

Modern computer forecasting is improving all the time - the accuracy of the 3-day forecast a dozen years ago is now the accuracy of the 5-day forecasts, or better. This trend will only improve as computer modeling becomes more sophisticated and hardware capability improves, as it always does.

There are many who appreciate these articles and understand both the potential and the limitations of modern weather forecasting. It helps us plan ahead, and it's just darn interesting.

Snuffy said...

I always enjoy the weather blogs, and I am never one to criticize or ridicule the articles; but let's face it. They are in the business to sell newspapers, collect internet web hits, get viewers etc. They must hype up stories to make money. I take it all with a grain of salt and enjoy the information, but also realize they is more to it that just stating facts.

Anonymous said...

Can one of the previous negative commenters please point out the "hype" in this blog? Angry Idiots.

Anonymous said...

This article is well written and interesting.

Shaw said...

One of Steve's defensive groupies (@6:24 PM) is breaking up.