Lower Humidity Moving In

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A cold front moving east through the western part of the state will be the focal point for thunderstorms this afternoon and evening.

The combination of temperatures in the 80s and dewpoints well into the 60s favor thunderstorm development. The instability parameters would support strong to severe storms with hail and damaging wind gusts although the most unstable air is north of the Triangle. The quick-moving line of thunderstorms should be east of the Triangle around 8 p.m. The quick movement of the storms will also keep flooding risks to a minimum.

Dew points will drop considerably overnight and with temperatures dropping into the 50s, it will be a more comfortable night, and tomorrow continues to feel much nicer. Dew points have dropped into the lower 50s across Tennessee and Missouri and we can expect those dew points in our area tomorrow. They could even drop into the upper 40s for a time.

High pressure now over the Mississippi valley will move into the Tennessee valley tomorrow, providing the area with a splendid day with afternoon temperatures in the lower to middle 80s. The high will move pretty much right overhead on Wednesday, for another comfortable day with temperatures around 5 degrees Fahrenheit above average. However, modeling is showing an upper-level disturbance, now located in the southwestern part part of the country, moving our way in the westerly flow aloft. This may stream clouds our way during the day, and we cannot rule out the possibility of scattered shower or thunderstorm activity Wednesday night. The best chance will be over Virginia, and in the farther
northern part of North Carolina.

The storm chance will continue into Thursday as a boundary sets up over Virginia. Again the best chance will be to our north with additional energy moving eastward, but with southwesterly flow and some sun allowing for a considerable bump in temperatures once again, we have to watch for the possibility that even south of the shortwave there can be some storms that fire up with the heat of the day, especially with dew points back into the mid-60s. At the very least, it will feel like summer, and there is a chance that the Triangle can experience the first 90-degree day of the year if the convective activity holds off until late enough in the afternoon. So far Raleigh/Durham made it as high as 89. Some modeling suggests we could get within a couple of degrees of the daily record.

A ridge building aloft into Friday will push the boundary to the north and diminish our rain chances. It will also boost temperatures even higher, and mid- to upper 90s are not out of the question. The record for Friday is 94 from 1938, and there is a decent chance that we can tie or even break that record.

Another front will push toward us for the upcoming weekend, but will need to break down the upper ridge over the area before storms can move in. Right now we expect another hot and humid day on Saturday, and we will mention the possibility of afternoon storms in the area, mainly west of the Triangle. At the moment, Sunday looks like the more likely day for widespread wet weather. Drier, cooler and more comfortable conditions would return for early next week.

Have a great evening!

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