Sunday, September 16, 2018

Is it August or September? Hot temps will remain all of this week

There really are no major weather talking points for the Mid-South region this upcoming week as our forecast will be primarily dominated by hot temperatures and not a whole lot in terms of precipitation.

Unfortunately, there are parts of the U.S. that have been seeing historic amounts of rainfall lately. As we discussed in last week's blog, former Hurricane Florence eventually made landfall along the North Carolina coastline and has since brought catastrophic flooding to both North and South Carolina. Florence, now a tropical depression in wind strength, continues to bring bands of heavy rainfall to both states and has been doing so since last Thursday. Some areas have received over 30" of rainfall in this event alone.

A look at the 7-day observed precipitation total over the Carolinas displays a large area that has received 20+ inches of rain over this period. The majority of this rain has come over a 3 to 4 day span. (NOAA/NWS)

An additional crazy statistic from this event is that Wilmington, NC has already broken its annual rainfall record. The previous record, set in 1877, was 83.65 inches over the 12 month period. The area has already broken this record by reading 86.79 inches so far, and we still have three more months left in the year!


Back to the Mid-South, expecting for a generally quiet evening tonight as temps slowly begin to cool off after sunset. Additionally, clear skies overnight will help our temps to cool with lows expected to reach near 74 in the city and a bit cooler in the suburbs by early tomorrow morning. 

Tomorrow through Thursday

In general, the first several days of this week will be extremely similar with no major weather pattern variations. There will be plenty of sunshine to go around each day with mostly sunny skies expected to dominate our weather pattern. Highs each day will reach into the low 90s with tolerable humidity. We could even sneak into the mid 90s range on a day or two. Dewpoint temperatures will generally stay around 70, which isn't comfortable but isn't completely miserable either. The good news from this is that heat index values to go along with our highs in the 90s should near 100, but shouldn't go much over that. Nonetheless, it'll be toasty outside this week! 

For the evening and overnight hours, clear skies will help temps to cool each night with temps falling into the lower to mid 70s. 


The end of the work week appears to be the only day with a slight variation from the rest of the week. Overall, expecting for a similar weather pattern in terms of temperature with highs in the lower 90s and lows in the mid 70s. Our difference maker will be that rain chances will slowly begin to re-enter the forecast starting on Friday. 

A cold front will approach the Mid-South through the second half of the work week, but will slowly push into our area this weekend and eventually stall out. So what will this mean? We should eventually get a little relief from the heat we have experienced all of this week, but not as much relief as we all really want. 

The WPC shows a cold front slowly making its way southward by early Friday morning (NOAA/WPC)

WPC's Day 7 (Sunday morning) surface front map shows very little movement as compared to Friday's chart with Friday's cold front becoming a stationary front draped over the Mid-South. (NOAA/WPC)
We aren't expecting a washout for Friday; showers and thunderstorms will likely stay scattered at best. 

Week in review

Overall this upcoming week looks to dip a little back into the summer-like category rather than fall-like, despite the autumnal equinox occurring on Saturday evening. Hopefully Mother Nature won't make us wait too long to finally get some of that fall weather we are all craving. Fingers crossed!

A glance at next weekend 

In short, this upcoming weekend appears to keep the above average temperatures in place with a few additional rain chances becoming possible. To put things in perspective, "normal" high temps for mid-September are generally in the mid 80s with "normal" low temps in the mid 60s. We are expecting to be near 90 for our high this weekend with overnight lows in the lower 70s. These temps sound more like mid-August than mid-September if you ask me. 

The CPC has temps remaining well above average next weekend through the first part of the following week (Sep. 22-26). (NOAA/CPC)

The CPC keeps the Mid-South in the above average category for precipitation from Saturday through the beginning of next week, largely due to the presence of the front in the area during a good part of that timeframe. (NOAA/CPC)

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist Intern

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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Warmer temps/dry conditions return, and let's talk Florence

The stationary front that has been placed to our south recently has finally begun to move away allowing us to begin warming starting today and especially by Thursday. Our sky remains mostly cloudy with a few showers continuing to dot the radar. Luckily, today appears to be the last day that this will be the case. Who's ready for a little change?


Temps will stay well below average today as highs are only expected to reach around 80 degrees. Our constant cloudiness will help to keep temps this cool. Scattered showers are certainty possible as we move into the afternoon and evening hours, but my guess would be the majority of us will stay dry. If you do get a sprinkle or two of rain, congratulations you've won the rain lottery!

Clouds overnight will help to keep our temps from cooling too dramatically overnight, but still expect temps to fall to near 69. 

Warmer temps return tomorrow 

We will finally begin our transition from this dreary weather pattern on Thursday as high pressure begins to build into the eastern half of the U.S. Temps will warm back to near normal tomorrow with highs reaching around 88. By Friday into this weekend, highs will continue to push into the upper 80s. Normal for our area in mid-September is around 87 degrees, so we should stay around to a degree or two above this over the next few days.

GFS 500mb analysis shows a general ridging pattern over the Eastern half of the U.S. (with the exception of Hurricane Florence). This ridging will allow temps to warm back to above average and keep rain chances low. (Pivotal Weather)
The other benefit from this high pressure building into our area will be less shower activity. Generally speaking, rain chances will be non-existent over the next few days with only a few clouds across the sky. 

For those with #FridayNightLights plans either at the high school or college level, Mother Nature will provide some very nice conditions. Temps will be near the mid 80s at kickoff and will steadily drop through the game to near 80. Additionally, we are not expecting any rain. Sounds like good football weather to me. 

Next Week

Overall, no major weather changes are expected for next week, but rather a continuation of the weather pattern we will experience beginning tomorrow. High pressure will remain over the area. The only potential change will be the direction of our local winds. As the eventual remnants of Florence drift westward (don't worry, no rain from the storm is currently expected locally), the influences could aid in turning our winds from northerly to northeasterly. Overall, not expecting any big  changes though!

In short, above average temps will continue next week with highs in the upper 80s to near 90 and overnight lows in the low 70s. Drier conditions will remain as well with minimal rain chances through the extended period. 

The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has highlighted our area in the above average category for much of next week. (NOAA/CPC)
CPC maintains below average precipitation over the Mid-South next week. (NOAA/CPC)

A look at Hurricane Florence

While Hurricane Florence does not pose any threat to our area, this is a very powerful system that is worth mentioning. Hurricane Florence is currently a high-end category 3 located in the Atlantic Ocean and is expected to be very near the U.S. coast on Friday and Saturday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) shows Hurricane Florence maintaining major hurricane strength as it nears the North Carolina and South Carolina coastlines. The cone represents where the center of the storm could be, but does not necessarily represent the direct impacts related to this system. Damaging wind and storm surge could both occur outside of the cone.  (NOAA/NHC)
There are some interesting atmospheric features that have made forecasting Hurricane Florence's long-range track particularly interesting. A stationary front and mid-level ridge of high pressure has begun to set up along the Appalachian Mountain range that will act to slow down Hurricane Florence and not allow it to push inland as quickly as previously thought. Because of this, Florence will slow to  a crawl and bring torrential rainfall to parts of North and South Carolina.

NHC's key messages highlights the potentially life-threatening storm surge and rainfall that could occur in North and South Carolina due to the Hurricane Florence.  (NOAA/NHC)

If you have friends or family in the area, this is a serious situation and all local evacuations and orders should be followed. More information can be found at or through local emergency management in North and South Carolina.

Again, this system will not affect the Mid-South area, but since it is a major weather event, we felt that it should be discussed in the blog. As always, for the latest information on our local weather, reference the links below. 

Caroline MacDonald
MWN Meteorologist Intern

Follow MWN on Facebook and Twitter for routine updates and the latest info!
Complete MWN Forecast: on the mobile web or via the MWN mobile app
Download our iPhone or Android apps, featuring StormWatch+ severe weather alerts!
MWN is a NOAA Weather Ready Nation Ambassador Meteorologist Erik Proseus is an NWA Digital Seal Holder