Friday, June 20, 2014

Too much rain? Not where I live

Summer thunderstorms can be capricious, dumping big amounts of rainfall in some places and leaving nearby areas dry. That's especially true in the Southeast, where summer is loaded with what meteorologists call "pulse" storms that strengthen and weaken quickly.

Those hit-and-miss storms have been a staple product of the Charlotte area's weather this week.

It seems as if there have been daily thunderstorms in parts of the foothills, and areas to the east of Charlotte have received more than 3 inches of rain this week. But in much of Mecklenburg County, little or no rain has fallen.

Thunderstorms repeatedly have formed in the foothills and moved very slowly into the Piedmont, drying out as they reach Mecklenburg County.  At my house, no rain has fallen this week (through Friday afternoon).

Now the pattern is getting ready to change. A weak cold front is expected to slip southward across the Carolinas on Saturday, and that will serve two purposes.  It will drop temperatures a few degrees late this weekend and early next week. And it will decrease thunderstorm chances, especially Sunday and Monday.

Computer models indicate thunderstorm activity will be a bit lower on Friday afternoon and evening than the past two days, but storms are predicted to be more numerous Saturday as the front pushes southward.

But if you need rain and don't get hit by a storm Saturday, it'll be time to get the sprinkler out.

Temperatures, which have climbed into the low and mid 90s on a daily basis this week, will fall back a bit. Charlotte has been in the 90s for five straight days, and it could climb into the low 90s again Saturday, before the cold front arrives. But highs are predicted to hold in the upper 80s from Sunday into Tuesday of next week.