September 22: This is Fall?


Happy Autumn!  The autumnal equinox at 9:21am today heralds the official beginning to astronomical fall — as opposed to “meteorological fall,” which we round off to September-October-November.  Regardless of what you call it, the weather will definitely still be stuck in “summer” mode through the weekend.

The only real change to today’s forecast (compared to the past couple of days) will be a slight increase in humidity. Temperatures will top out in the low 90s today:
That means that today will be our 83rd day of 2016 with a high temperature at or above 90 degrees…putting this year in second place all-time:

More of the same tomorrow:

Highs in the low 90s over the weekend will feel more like the mid 90s, and rain chances will remain 10% or lower through Sunday.  Near-record high temperatures remain in the forecast through early next week:

The late-September heat wave will continue until Tuesday, when a better chance of showers and storms will finally bring some fall-like air into the Midstate.
The specifics are still up in the air regarding the system that will spark those showers and thunderstorms — the long-range forecast models aren’t in very good agreement yet.  The American GFS forecast model still brings a better chance of storms into the Midstate already on Monday, but holds off the “refreshing” air until Wednesday.  The European forecast model doesn’t produce as much rain, but keeps us hotter Monday and Tuesday, then brings the cooler and drier air in by Wednesday.  I’m not showing any images from either model because I think they’re both showing some flaws — the 7-day forecast WILL change as we get closer to next week.

Don’t get too wrapped up in the model differences and forecast uncertainty yet — focus on the GOOD news…the heat wave will likely come to an end by the middle of next week!




About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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