October 4: Warm Spell Continues, Nerd-Links

WEATHER

Early September felt more like early October, now early October is feeling more like early September — and the unseasonably warm weather will continue for the next several days.  Temperatures tonight won’t be bad at all, dipping to the upper 50s:

We’ll warm right back up to the low to mid 80s for highs on Thursday:

More of the same in store Friday and Saturday, with just a very slight shower chance for the first half of the weekend:

The forecast for Sunday onward is still quite muddled, because of the potential influence of a new tropical system in the Caribbean.

That system is Tropical Depression #16, and it will move into the Gulf of Mexico over the weekend, strengthening to become Tropical Storm Nate along the way.  Over the next three days, the forecast path takes the storm over Nicaragua and Honduras, then over the eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula:

The forecast path after that point is still uncertain.  The American GFS model brings a very weak storm onshore in Louisiana early Sunday morning:

The European forecast model (generally the more-accurate model) brings the system onshore as a hurricane in the Florida panhandle Monday morning:

The National Hurricane Center’s official forecast path leans heavily in the direction of the European scenario, but it’s about 24 hours faster.  Also, the “cone of uncertainty” at landfall stretches all the way from Mississippi to just north of Tampa:

The NHC forecasts Nate to be a Category One hurricane at landfall — but there’s a lot of VERY warm water in the western Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico right now:

That’s the fuel for these storms, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this is another storm that explosively intensifies.  If you have plans to visit the Gulf Coast this weekend or next week, you should at minimum pay close attention to the forecast for the next few days.  (Personally, I’d be thinking of a “Plan B” in case you need to adjust your visit.)  As the storm intensifies and begins to move, we’ll start to get a better idea of exactly where it will go and how strong it will be.

Here’s how all of that relates to us here in the Midstate: if the path is close enough to the Midstate and the storm moves quickly, we’ll see a better chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday AND Monday…but if it’s farther to the east and a little slower (which I think is the more-likely scenario), the bulk of the rainfall will avoid us until Monday.  That’s why I’ve left the Sunday’s rain chances at less than 50-50, with a higher chance on Monday.  We’ll keep you updated!

 

LINKS

Time for some nerdery…

About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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