January 22ndNorth Carolina Weather Discussion
“Stormy Sunday coming up”
“Cooler weather next week”
“Watching 1/29-1/31 for winter weather potential”
Showers should end later this morning across the southern and eastern parts of the state and we will see a cloudy and cool rest of the day. Cool high pressure in the northeast will keep temperatures near normal tomorrow before we see a strong cold front move towards the area on Sunday.
Strong southern wind flow ahead of this system will lead to windy and warmer conditions on Sunday across the state with temperatures surging into the 60s across most of the state and a line of showers and thunderstorms organizing and moving west to east across the state Sunday afternoon and evening. I think we will see an organized line of storms form which will bring a period of heavy rain, thunder and lightning, and some strong gusty winds as it passes through the foothills and piedmont. The best chance for severe weather will be across the southeast and eastern part of the state mainly east of Highway 1. This is where the best thermodynamic instability along with wind shear could come together to promote some severe thunderstorms. I do not expect a widespread event, but I think we could certainly see some isolated severe storms Sunday afternoon.
Colder and drier air will push in behind this storm early next week and we could see temperatures fall back below normal for much of next week.
The next system of interest appears to be on the way for the January 29th-31st time frame. A disturbance along the subtropical jet stream will move into the southwest US next week and then move east towards the southeast late next week. With a strong polar vortex forecast to be in eastern Canada, we could see enough cold air along with a suppressed storm track to make this a window to look for wintery weather. Right now it is still 7-8 days away so as we have seen this winter, many things can go wrong and make this all rain or a dry event. For now let’s call it a period of interest and see how the models do with this over the weekend. I think there is potential.
I think February is going to be a cooler than normal month for North Carolina, but perhaps not extremely so. I do like our storm chances better for February as the subtropical jet stream will remain very active, and the cold may not be as suppressive as it was in the mid December to early January time frame. This could allow some winter storms to develop. We will see though.