Monday, June 30, 2014

A dry and pleasant July 4 ... is that possible?

The Carolinas coast is getting most of the attention from meteorologists this week, as they watch the possible development of a tropical low pressure system east of Florida.

But back here in the Piedmont and foothills, conditions are shaping up for what might be an unusually nice Independence Day holiday. If everything develops the way the computer models indicate, our July 4th could be dry and pleasant.

High temperatures in Charlotte might climb only into the upper 80s, humidity levels might be tolerable, and skies might be clear.

Scott Krentz, of the National Weather Service's office in Greer, S.C., said Monday morning that the computer-generated forecasts seem to be pointing toward one prediction -- that a fairly vigorous cold front will push across the Charlotte region late Thursday and be followed on the Fourth of July by a high pressure system.

Under that solution, Thursday would be a stormy day, especially in the afternoon and nighttime hours.

For several days, the Carolinas have been under the influence of an unsettled pattern, as an easterly flow off the Atlantic brought a lot of moisture into the area. Some locations in the North Carolina mountains got 6 to 8 inches of rain over the weekend. A vigorous thunderstorm Friday night dumped about 3 inches in parts of southeastern Mecklenburg County.

Additional showers and storms developed Saturday and Sunday, and more of the same is forecast for the first few days this week -- although storm activity will be scattered, forecasters say.

The chances of thunderstorms probably will increase into the "likely" category Thursday, as the cold front approaches. Anyone planning outdoor activities Thursday night -- and there are plenty of concerts, festivals and fireworks displays scheduled -- would have to keep an eye on the forecast. The storms could continued into the overnight hours.

Then the cold front is predicted to push all the way to the coast Friday. Under that scenario, the cold front would serve as a pipeline for the tropical weather system expected to move up the East Coast. If you're planning to spend the Fourth of July at the coast, that's a problem.

But for those remaining in the Piedmont, foothills or mountains, the holiday could be really nice.

Independence Day typically in the Charlotte area is hot and humid, with a scattering of late-afternoon and evening thunderstorms. Highs in the low 90s are common.

But we could be looking at a holiday with highs from 85 to 88 degrees and no worries about whether a thunderstorm will interrupt the holiday fireworks displays and other evening events.


Anonymous said...

Liar, liar pants on fire ...