Above Normal Temperatures On The Way As We Near The Autumnal Equinox

Lead Forecaster Daniel Crawley

Good Friday afternoon to everyone. Hope your week has been a great one. We have had a 5-Star week in terms of weather across Western North Carolina. A cold front moved through late Monday flushed out a tropical like regime and since that point we have experienced an early taste of fall with mild days and cool, pleasant evenings.

The good news is that there is no rain in sight over the next 7-Days, its a good time to get labor extensive chores done before later in the year when the weather won’t be as cooperative. Even with the lack of rain we are going to slowly moderate things in terms of humidity. High pressure directly overhead is in the process of moving east and that will set up a return flow.

You can see this exhibited on the precipitable water values…very dry air (PWATS less than 0.5 in) will get forced out as easterly winds off the Atlantic will bring in more humid air this weekend. Fortunately all the deep, tropical moisture is well away from the United States…so we are talking a modest return of humidity by this weekend instead of excessive humidity.

Precipitable Water Values (Through Thursday Sept 22nd

The most notable change for us will be in the night time temperatures as the more humid air will not allow temps to bottom out as much early in the mornings. We have seen multiple mornings of lower-mid 50’s earlier this week. By early next week we are looking at something in the upper 50’s/lower 60’s range…

While that is happening at the low levels, a significant late season heat ridge is developing at 500mb across the Southern Plains States. That will slowly expand and strengthen to about 594dm over Texas. This will help increase temperatures across the Southern tier of the country including here in North Carolina. Hopefully this expansive ridge will stay in place long enough to protect the Southeast from being impacted by what may very well be Hurricane Fiona in the Southwest Atlantic a week or so from now.

500 mb height anomalies (Through Thursday Sept 22nd)

By the middle of next week the Western Carolinas could see some of its hottest weather in over a month, computer model ensembles has temperatures flirting with the 90 degree mark across the Foothills and lower 90’s in the Western Piedmont, leading up right to the autumnal equinox which begins on Thursday.

As far as departures from normal, we are looking at the potential of highs mid next week being 10 or more degrees above normal for this time of the year.

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