Coastal Storm to Bring Rain Today and Saturday

Coming up Saturday morning is the official start of astronomical fall. Let’s get a report card right now of where we stand as we head out of summertime with climatologist Corey Davis from the State Climate Office of North Carolina. How are things looking right now as you take a look at the map?

Really not too bad, and when we think back to the summer, we did get off to a nice cool start in May in June. It was hotter in July and August and even the first part of September, but despite that hot weather, and at times some dry stretches, most areas in the Carolinas fared it fairly well. Looking at things like lake levels, we’ve had a few especially some of the reservoirs in the northern Piedmont, like Falls and Jordan Lake that serve the triangle area. They’ve been running just a little bit low over the last few weeks. They haven’t seen quite as much upstream rainfall as they would have wanted. But the good news is for most of those lakes, they’re now entering their winter drawdown periods. So those levels will be falling over the next few months toward the wintertime. So a little deficit now is not a huge deal, especially when we look at those decreasing levels coming up. In terms of streams and stream flows were pretty much at normal across most of North and South Carolina. Just a few very isolated patches of drier streams. We know we had tropical storm a dahlia come through late last month. That certainly helped top off a lot of those streams that had gotten a little bit low but really no concerns about streamflows at this time. And then also looking at agricultural conditions for the farms across North and South Carolina. We’re seeing pretty good crop condition and crop progress. Most crops are in fair to good condition and especially things like peanuts and tobacco look like they’re in great shape. They’ve had a great season. We know we have a few dry spots like in the northeastern corner of North Carolina. The Pasquotank County extension agent this week said they may be about 10 to 20% low on their corn and soybean yields this year. But aside from that, most areas weathered that fairly hot stretch we had late in the summer pretty well. And now that the weather is cooperating and bringing us more of those fall-like temperatures, it looks like the end of the growing season and the start of the fall and winter period should be a pretty seamless transition.

Now just because we’re leaving summertime does not mean that we’re not leaving hurricane season. There’s still possibilities all the way through November that we could get some tropical systems, right?

Absolutely. Yeah, that the end of official hurricane season is November the 30th. And we’re still seeing some activity out across the Atlantic this week. We’ve got Hurricane Nigel the remnants of that storm are now exiting in the North Atlantic. We’ve got another system that’s just come off the coast of Africa, the National Hurricane Center thinks it has a decent chance of development over the next seven days. So that’s a system that bears watching but it’s so far away at this point so far out that it’s tough to tell exactly what it may do. I think the bigger concern for us locally is going to be a low pressure system right off our coast. That’s gonna bring some pretty heavy rain to areas through the weekend could still see some gusty winds and even some flooding rainfall just because of how close that storm is going to be to the coast. And generally the further east you go especially getting toward the Outer Banks, that’s where you’ll see those higher amounts add up.

So you should be noted again, this is just a good old fashioned rain event. Right?

That’s right, it’s really going to be more similar to a nor’easter than it would be to a landfalling hurricane or tropical storm. With that said we know that especially up or down the Outer Banks, they can have issues with overwash when they have a storm like this offshore. There could be quite a bit of rain four to five inches possible in some areas. Knowing that we did just have a pretty big rain event from Italia a few weeks ago. We don’t necessarily need that moisture but again looking at the northeastern corner of North Carolina, the Elizabeth City area there six inches below normal over the past three months. So that rain could certainly help to eliminate or at least take away some of those deficits that they’ve built up this summer.

It might not be officially fall yet but man I’ve been enjoying these cooler temperatures that we’ve had for the last week or so does it look like we’re going to continue with those are we really into fall patterns now?

We won’t necessarily have those cool nights we’re not looking at dipping down into the upper 40s like a few places have over the last week. But we’re not going to be that far above normal either. We’ll actually be a little cooler this weekend when that rain is falling. By early next week. It looks like we’ll make it up into the low 80s Which is pretty much normal for this time of the year. And it looks like even to the middle of next week. We’re not going to get much warmer than that. So we are going to keep this at least early fall like weather sticking around. No signs of big warm up on the horizon. So it’s always possible that we could heat up even in early October but hoping that we’re not going to this year and we keep some very seasonable temperatures with us.