Yesterday was rough for a while, but it went about as expected. Storms formed inland around 5pm, and then they ripped through the region during the early evening.
Rain was heavy, winds were strong and gusty. There were numerous wind gusts between 35-45mph with a few gusts over 50mph. There were some damage reports along with large hail.
There were actually quite a few reports of hail with a few reports of a hail size of 1-2″. That’s pretty big for around here. As of this writing there weren’t any official reports of tornadoes. There was one report of a funnel cloud southwest of Elizabeth City. However, I believe the National Weather Service is going to go out and survey 2 areas of damage to see if a tornado had touched down. There was one in Bertie county and one in Gates county. There was some rotation detected by our Super Doppler 10 radar yesterday in those locations.
So we’ll put out the updates on that if/when they come out.
One reason why the threat for hail increased was due to sunshine. What? Yes! For a while yesterday we had some clearing. The models hinted at this, but I don’t think they had full sunshine like we actually had. This pushed the high temperatures up to near 80 or in the low 80s. So that and the higher humidity bounced the instability up to moderate levels. We already had some decent wind shear (increasing winds with height). So that’s why we ended up with so many hail reports and possibly some isolated tornadoes. This was all ahead of a cold front and an area of low pressure. Today that system is offshore.
We’ll have high pressure to the southwest, but notice that there is a lot of precip over the Midwest this morning. There are even some spotty showers nearby. This is from a feature in the upper levels. It is a big dip in the jet stream. It’s basically an upper level low. That is an level of cool/unstable air in the upper mid-upper levels of the troposphere and lower stratosphere. Using the “Water Vapor” product we can take a look at this feature.
It’s like taking an X-ray of the upper atmosphere, but it uses a different type of radiation. Anyway, that feature will edge east today. So we’ll have a mix of sun and clouds. There will be some isolated rain showers for a time, but then the chance will increase a bit this afternoon.
It won’t be that warm today at the surface. High temps are going to be in the upper 60s. We’ll have a light southwest wind. However, there will be a much colder than average pool of air in that upper level feature. So that makes things relatively unstable. Hence the chance for rain. I put the chance at 30% this afternoon. It may even be unstable enough for an isolated thunderstorm, but it won’t be ANYTHING like yesterday.
Tomorrow the low will weaken as it moves east. Plus, we’ll be drier at the surface. We’ll be partly cloudy with a couple of isolated showers. Highs will only be in the low 60s. The average highs are in the upper 60s. On Sunday we’ll be flat-out dry and cool. High temps will only be near 60 degrees.
The bummer about this is that college beach weekend is early, and this is not the best weather for the beach. It could be much worse. At least it will be dry. However, with air temps in the low 60s and water temps in the 50s I doubt there will be many people getting in the water. (A few brave souls?). It might be nice to walk along the beach at the boardwalk, but take a sweatshirt or light jacket when you go. Sorry….I’m just the messenger.
Whatever you do this weekend…Have a good one!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler