Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer is about to deliver some heat

I hope you haven't caught yourself thinking that maybe we're done with the heat this summer.

The computer models are pointing toward a warmup over the next few days, and that could be followed by some even warmer temperatures by the end of next week and into the start of the kids' school year Aug. 25.

We're not talking about 100-degree weather, but temperatures in the mid 90s will feel hot, after the kind of weather we've experienced since mid-July.

Carolinas' temperatures -- and, in fact, readings across the eastern two-thirds of the country -- have been well below average for the last four or five weeks. In Charlotte, we're nearly 3 degrees below the monthly average temperature so far.

It's been wet, too. While the rainfall numbers at Charlotte Douglas International Airport haven't been noteworthy, there have been several heavy rain events across the region recently. Beachgoers know what I mean. Rain has fallen three straight weekends on the Carolinas coast.

I spent last week at Sunset Beach, and rain fell all seven days I was there.

It only makes sense that things will change, and now that seems to be taking place. Our pattern for the past month has been wet and cool, but the computers are hinting at a change -- warm, with only scattered daily thunderstorm activity.

The Global model was producing forecasts this week that point to 100-degree weather in the Carolinas around the Aug. 23-26 period, but with all the rainfall we've had since mid-July, it doesn't seem likely that we'll get that hot. Some of the heat will be expended drying out the ground, so we'd probably see mid 90s instead.

We'll also be watching the Atlantic, because the tropics have been quiet so far this season.

That was the prediction, with an intensifying El Nino in the Pacific basin expected to limit the development of tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic and Caribbean. But we've had only two named storms so far this season, and that's the smallest number at mid-August since 2009.

Once again, it makes sense to expect some development in the Atlantic next week.

And what about autumn? The government's Climate Prediction Center seems to be pointing toward a warm autumn for the Carolinas.

The forecast for August through October calls for average temperatures, but the September-November and October-December forecasts show a strong chance of above-average temperatures -- and above-average precipitation.

In other words, expect warm and wet weather for September, October and November.

And that ties in with a couple of autumn forecasts I've seen in recent days.


lkmnews said...

Hey, Steve: Any thoughts about the rain possibility in the mountains next weekend (Aug. 23-24)? I'm planning a backpacking trip...

Anonymous said...

Heat will be better than rain for a while. Not real thrilled at the prospect of a warm autumn, but all the weather gurus have been seriously wrong before, so I don't put much stock in their forecasts. Autumn's still a good ways away. Lots of things can happen between now and October.