Yesterday was a rough day for a while, but everything went according to plan. Storms formed inland around 5 p.m. and then moved through the region in the early evening.
The rain was heavy, the winds were strong and gusty. There were numerous gusts of wind between 35 and 45 mph with a few gusts over 50 mph. There were a few reports of damage as well as large hail.
There have actually been quite a few hail reports with a few reports of 1-2″ hail size. It’s big enough for here. As of this writing, there are no official reports of tornadoes. There has been a report of a funnel cloud southwest of Elizabeth City. However, I believe the National Weather Service will come out and inspect 2 damage areas to see if a tornado has touched down. There was one in Bertie County and one in Gates County. There was rotation detected by our Super Doppler 10 radar yesterday at these locations.
So we will post updates on this if/when they come out.
Sunshine is one of the reasons the threat of hail has increased. What? Yes! For a while yesterday we had a bit of a release. The models hinted at this, but I don’t think they got full sun like we actually did. That pushed high temperatures up to near 80s or into the 80s. So that and the higher humidity caused instability to bounce back up to moderate levels. We already had decent wind shear (increasing winds with height). That’s why we ended up with so many reports of hail and maybe a few isolated tornadoes. All this in front of a cold front and an area of low pressure. Today, this system is offshore.
We will have high pressure to the southwest, but note that there is a lot of precipitation over the Midwest this morning. There are even sporadic showers nearby. This is from a higher level feature. It’s a big dip in the jet stream. It’s basically a next level low. This is a level of cool/unstable air in the upper middle 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. Either way, this feature will be heading east today. So we will have a mixture of sun and clouds. There will be a few isolated rain showers for a while, but the chances will increase a bit this afternoon.
It won’t be that hot today on the surface. High temperatures will be in the upper 60s. We will have a light southwesterly wind. However, there will be a pool of much colder than average air in this upper level feature. So that makes things relatively unstable. Hence the risk of rain. I put the chance at 30% this afternoon. It may even be unstable enough for an isolated thunderstorm, but it will be NOTHING like yesterday.
Tomorrow, the depression will weaken as it moves eastward. In addition, we will be drier on the surface. We will be partly cloudy with a few isolated showers. The highs will only be in the 60s. The average highs are in the upper 60s. Sunday we will be dry and cool. High temperatures will only be around 60 degrees.
The disappointment about this is that the college weekend at the beach is early, and it’s not the best weather for the beach. It could be much worse. At least it will be dry. However, with air temperatures in the 60s and water temperatures in the 50s, I doubt there would be many people getting in the water. (Some brave souls?). It can be nice to walk along the beach on the promenade, but take a sweatshirt or light jacket when you go. Sorry…I’m just the messenger.
Whatever you do this weekend… Have a nice day!
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler