March 20: Happy Spring!


Spring is officially here, as of 5:28 this morning.

It will definitely feel like spring today, with warm weather to start off the new work week — high temperatures will reach the upper 70s today:

We’ll see a mix of clouds and sunshine overhead, but no showers in store yet today.

Just a slight chance of showers overnight, mainly north of I-24, then a better chance of showers and storms arrives late Tuesday into Tuesday night.  The various forecast models are all over the place with the timing and placement of the best thunderstorm chances, so forecast uncertainty is still higher than we’d like.  For the moment, I think the NAM-3km model (don’t worry about the name, just including it for the serious weather nerds) handles things pretty well:

That shows a couple of waves of storms moving from northwest-to-southeast throughout the afternoon and evening.  A couple of storms could become severe, and the overall severe threat has been increasing with the last couple of batches of data.  The Storm Prediction Center’s ensemble model (a blend of 25+ different models) now shows a 50% chance of storms with severe ingredients Tuesday afternoon:

SPC has outlined most of the Midstate in a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) of severe thunderstorms, with large hail the main threat:

Within that zone, I think the main area of concern will be along and south of I-40, and that’s where I expect the SPC to bump the threat up to a “Slight Risk” (level 2 of 5).

Cooler weather Wednesday, then we’ll warm up again Thursday and Friday, ahead of another round of thunderstorms Saturday:

Saturday’s storm system will have our full attention throughout the week — at the moment, it looks like the most-favorable mix of severe weather ingredients will come together just to our south:

But Saturday is still a long way off in forecasting terms, so we’ll keep an eye on it and hope that the severe weather threat continues to avoid our neck of the woods.  But more storm chances appear likely next week as well!



I didn’t have time to collect the nerd-news late last week, so the links get a break today.  They’ll be back tomorrow…

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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