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La Nina’s effects may finally take hold in NC

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It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of cold weather. Short, gray days alter my mood for the worse. Bitter cold makes my joints ache. Snow and ice cause transportation issues. I can’t help it. I’m a summer lover, which is why I live in the south. So, back in October, when the Climate Prediction Center issued a statement that La Nina was settling in for the winter, I did a quiet little happy dance.

La Nina tends to bring warmer and drier-than-average weather to the Southeast.

As you can imagine, the first half of December has been disappointing for me. I mean really! Near record-breaking cold, our first wintry mix of the season, and deceptively sunny, brisk days have had me crying foul. Some good La Nina is doing, right?

The reality is that La Nina is not the only factor in our weather. Our recent cold snap has been the product of a more active, wavy pattern over North America – one that brings arctic air from the northwest to the southeast. Its persistence has been good news to my friends who require chilly temperatures to get into the holiday spirit. I think they’ve enjoyed it quite a bit based on the photos of snow all over my Facebook feed last weekend.

Next week, the pattern will change and bring a more horizontal flow across the country. Our storms will be coming from the southern part of the United States, and our temperatures will warm to above normal levels. The cold air will stay to our north, where Snow Miser says it should be. (If you don’t get the reference, please watch “The Year Without a Santa Claus,” or look him up on Youtube.)

cpc map

The Climate Prediction Center’s temperature probability map for December 19-23, shows above-average chances for above-normal.

The Climate Prediction Center forecasted November, December, and January to have better-than-average chances at being warmer than normal back in October, when they noted La Nina’s cooler waters taking hold in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. North Carolina has not really seen that forecast verify so far, but the Global Forecasting System (GFS) long-range model shows a warm-up starting early next week. It’s possible that La Nina’s moderating effects on the South’s weather may finally be coming into play.

Does that mean a white Christmas is highly unlikely for the Triangle? Maybe. Maybe not. It may be a wet Christmas or sleet-filled Christmas if the latest run of the GFS verifies. While rain or sleet will make gift delivery a soggy – or even treacherous – ordeal, our area could use the precipitation. As of today, the U.S. Drought Monitor shows much of North Carolina under abnormally dry conditions with the central portion of the state experiencing moderate drought.

Don’t be too upset or excited about the Christmas forecast. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you know any model predictions longer than five days away are not as trustworthy as we’d like them to be. I expect the forecast to change several times between now and December 24.

drought map

U.S. Drought Monitor map issued December 14, 2017

Weather Blog

Impending wintry mix on big event weekend

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Those people who say they need cold weather to get into the Christmas spirit ought to be happy about this weekend’s forecast… unless of course, they are planning on attending the Wake Forest Christmas Parade or the Wake Forest High School football playoff in Winston-Salem. In that case, they may be a little stressed over the fact that it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

A few days ago, the forecast looked like we would see mostly rain with some flakes mixed in at times. This morning, the forecast is leaning more toward rain mixing with and possibly changing to snow, and in some places, sleet could fall. On Saturday, as the temperature warms with what little daytime heating we’ll get, the precipitation could change back to rain before exiting the region. The models are agreeing on the fact that there will be precipitation, but what kind, how much, and when it will end is still a little up in the air (forgive the pun).

Typically, this is the type of storm I write about in February or March. You know – the ones that have meteorologists obsessed with the freezing line at the surface, just above the surface, and up in the clouds. Where those freezing lines are mean everything in a situation like this weekend’s. If the air is at freezing or below in all the levels of the atmosphere, we see snow. If the air is warmer at the surface, we get cold rain with maybe a few flakes or ice pellets mixed in. If the air is colder at the surface, but above freezing up higher, we’ll see more ice pellets or freezing rain.

Each model run over the last 24 hours has moved the freezing line at the surface in one direction or the other.  Wake County is a big county! With 857 square miles, it often happens with these kinds of storms that one part of the county gets snow dumped on it, and the opposite side sees nothing but rain. At this point, we aren’t expecting any area to get more than an inch of snow on grassy areas around here because the snow will be wet, and the ground is still warm.

Other than a few cold early mornings in recent weeks, the temperature has not spent much time below freezing. For that reason, the roads around here should be in relatively good condition Saturday morning even if we have a change from rain to snow early Friday night. If you happen to be driving to Winston-Salem for the football game at noon, the drive between here and there on the way to the game could take you through rain, sleet, and snow. Just take it easy on bridges and overpasses because they are more exposed to cold air above and below them, which means they could be a little slippery.

The western Triad has a slightly better chance of seeing snow versus rain Friday night and Saturday morning. Because the system will be moving from west to east, whatever precipitation does fall will end in Winston-Salem before it ends in the Triangle. As of this writing on Thursday morning, one model has the snow ending there early in the morning on Saturday, but another shows snow or rain showers could linger into the afternoon.

In any case and whether you are staying in town or traveling for the game, leave yourself time and stopping space while driving, wear warm layers, and make the most of the first winter storm of the season.

Saturday map

The National Weather Service forecast map shows one possibility of where the precipitation may be and what type could be falling at 7:00 AM Saturday.

Weather Blog

Could Mount Agung’s latest eruption cool the planet?

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Nearly 60,000 travelers have been stranded after yesterday’s eruption of Mount Agung in Bali. The volcano has been threatening a major eruption since earlier this year. In September, residents within a six-kilometer radius of the crater were told to evacuate for their own safety. Some did and have not returned, while others returned daily to feed and care for their livestock.

Yesterday’s eruption was the second in a week. According to reports, it spewed “ash 13,000 feet (4,000 meters [or nearly 2.5 miles]) into the atmosphere, and created plumes as high as 3.7 miles (6,000 meters).” The alert for the area has been raised, and people within 10 kilometers of the crater have been told to evacuate due to fears of a larger eruption to come.

Mount Agung map

Google Map showing Mount Agung’s location in Bali, Indonesia.

Bali is a small island in Indonesia, north of Western Australia. It’s proximity to the equator and mild weather make it a popular tourist destination for holiday travelers. It also gives Mount Agung the potential to affect weather on a global scale after a massive eruption.

If yesterday’s eruption is the worst of this round, then the weather in the region will be affected only in the near term. Ash contains sulfur dioxide, which when combined with water forms sulfuric acid aerosols. Those aerosols can “reflect incoming sunlight and influence cloud formation.” Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology predicts the weather could return to normal within a few weeks if the current wind direction continues.

If a larger eruption occurs – large enough to send ash into the stratosphere (18,000 meters) – the entire planet could be cooled for a year or more. While that sounds impressive, we’re really only talking about an estimated one degree Fahrenheit or less (0.55 degree Celsius or less).  Considering the upward global temperature trend in recent years, that much of a temperature drop would only take us back to 2014’s average temperature according to a report published by Carbon Brief back in October.

There have been major volcanic eruptions in the past that affected the earth’s temperature on a grand scale. Mount Tambora’s eruption in 1815 – just a few small islands east of Bali – may have caused the “year without a summer” as it is referred to in historical records in North America and Europe in 1816.

On their website longrangeweather.com, Climatologist Cliff Harris and Meteorologist Randy Mann have graphed global temperature swings over the past 4,500 years and correlated times of cooling to low solar activity and high volcanic activity. Alternately, periods of higher warming tend to be associated with peaks in solar activity and fewer eruptions. They also point out that El Nino and La Nina also play a role in global temperatures on smaller time scales.

Currently, we are seeing La Nina conditions in the Pacific, which is often associated with cooler-than-average global temperatures. If we were to add a major volcanic eruption to the mix, we could easily see that drop scientists are hypothesizing of a degree or more in the next year. It definitely bears watching, even from the other side of the world.

Weather Blog

How well did last spring’s Atlantic hurricane season’s forecasts perform?

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Hurricane season starts on June 1 and runs through November. Despite our man-made timeline for storms, which is based on typical start and end dates over the years, mother nature occasionally starts the year early as she did this year with Tropical Storm Arlene which developed on April 19.

Every spring, Colorado State University and North Carolina State University use statistics, global models, and other information to create their own seasonal forecasts for the upcoming hurricane season. The predictions garner a good deal of attention for a few days, and then are typically forgotten by the general public.

What they predicted:

Colorado State’s initial forecast was issued on April 6, 2017. For the purpose of this blog, I am only looking at the initial forecasts of each school. Revisions are usually transmitted in August, after the season has begun and the forecasters have a chance to see how the conditions may differ from what the models predicted in April.

CSU predicted slightly below average activity (citing 12 to be the median number of named storms from 1981-2010) with 11 named storms, four becoming hurricanes, and two major hurricanes (category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale).  One key factor they considered was their expectation for the development of El Nino with its warmer-than-normal sea surface temperatures in the Pacific. Yes, water temperatures in the Pacific affect the number of storms we have in the Atlantic. In weather, everything is connected.

NCSU’s Dr. Lian Xie – one of my professors when I earned my degree – saw things slightly differently and predicted an above-average year. He and his cohorts predicted 11 to 15 named storms (citing 11 to be the average number of named storms in the Atlantic from 1950-2014). They thought four to six of those may become hurricanes, and one to three of those could become major hurricanes.

2017 map

The National Hurricane Center’s 2017 Preliminary Hurricane Season Summary map

How they did:

The reality of the season was even greater than either group expected. The summary on the National Hurricane Center’s website lists 16 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes, and six of those became major hurricanes. While the season isn’t technically over, it looks like Tropical Storm Philippe was our last named storm of the season. You might not have even noticed him. He spent his time far out in the Atlantic on October 28 and 29.

Why it matters:

Whether meteorologists are forecasting for a season or just the next three days, looking at predictions versus reality after the period ends helps us learn from our mistakes and confirm what we got right. This summer, El Nino never really formed as the CSU team thought it would. In fact, in August, the sea surface temperatures were slightly cooler than average in the equatorial Pacific. That fact might have been a contributing factor to the final tally for the Atlantic basin.

Weather Blog

Don’t be distracted by the shine.

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We seem to live in a world of extremes these days. If you don’t absolutely love or absolutely hate something, the suggestion is that you just haven’t made up your mind. While there is a “like” button on Facebook, just being lukewarm to an idea is portrayed the same way as being totally against it in many news outlets and blogs. So, instead of focusing on the merits of both sides of the coin, we’re told we must pick heads or tails and there can be no in-between.

I want to remind the world it takes two sides to make a complete coin. So, let’s focus for a minute on something more substantive than the shiny sides by considering what the coin represents – a topic with important implications for everyone.

What do anthropogenic climate change “skeptics” and “believers” have in common? While most media outlets would have you think the answer is “nothing,” it’s far from true.

No matter which side of the debate you lean toward – human-caused warming versus natural variation – the ultimate goal of both sides should be mitigation of present and future risk. I’ve written about this topic before, but with recent articles about the U.S. government’s Climate Science Special Report, the likelihood of more hurricane Harvey-type storms, and how important changes in non-extreme rainy and dry spells are to the climate, I feel safe revisiting this subject.

Harvey

Image credit: NASA. A satellite image shows Hurricane Harvey as a Category 4 storm on August 25, 2017.

Case in point: when the Climate Science Special Report was released, it was taken by many at face value and reported with a tone of urgency and alarm by most news channels. However, other scientists such as Steve Koonin, who wrote a post about it for the Wall Street Journal, and Judith Curry, a climate scientist often called a “lukewarmer” because she questions how much faith we should put in climate models she knows intimately, looked at it with a more discerning eye. They questioned the timeline used in the report with regard to sea level rise. The report looked at the late 20th century through the early 21st, but apparently ignored higher sea levels that existed in the first part of the 20th century. That framing of the study has caused concern and become yet another topic of debate.

What both sides agree on, though, is that with rising sea level of any amount, coastal areas need to look closely at land-use policy and engineering to best protect their populations and natural resources.

Houston is a prime example, especially since an article on The Atlantic’s website published this week claims that with a warming climate, storms like Harvey will be much more likely to happen than they once did. While Harvey had a devastating effect on Houston, I can’t help but question some of the logic in that article, which was based on a rushed-to-print study by a well-respected scientist. I recall the dire warnings during the historic hurricane season of 2005 – how that season would set the tone for every year thereafter because it heralded the worst-case scenario for a warming climate. It took 12 years for us to see another season of landfalling, monster storms, and even this year wasn’t as bad as 2005. Not that I’m complaining.

Houston’s situation is more complicated than many coastal cities because Houston is sinking. Poor judgement in land-use for a quickly growing population over decades in the form of groundwater withdrawal has caused subsidence, especially in northwestern Harris County. Houston’s exposure to flood risk has been exacerbated by its sinking. A report published in 2010 cites a difference in ground elevation for that area of 2.5 meters between the 1930s and the 1970s. That change is huge! This fact isn’t news to Houston residents, but it probably is to most people outside of that region.

By the way, the report on Harvey’s effect on Houston was rushed so that it could be used by planners and engineers in the rebuilding process for the purpose of mitigating risk. Can you blame them?

I have always been one to weigh both sides of an argument. I learned the importance of being able to argue any point in debate class in tenth grade. If you don’t understand all aspects, you are making decisions based on incomplete information. So, please, don’t just choose heads or tails because one is shinier than the other. Consider the whole coin and understand that there’s value to it as a whole.

Weather Blog

Today’s high temperature could beat a record

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Like all scientists, meteorologist love data. We keep records for as many things and as many places as possible. We have daily maximum and minimum temperature and rainfall records going back over a century.

dreary fall day

The view from the author’s office window on a dreary, colder-than-normal November 8.

When you collect that much information, you’re able to compare dates year-over-year and extract other useful information, too. For example, two of my favorite records to consider are the lowest maximum temperature and the highest minimum temperature. They give an idea of whether a day has really been “this cold” or a night really has been “this warm” on a particular date in the past.

When we have a day like today – cold, dreary, damp, and winter-like in early November, I always look at the lowest maximum temperature records to see how unusual the weather really is. Today’s weather could actually be noteworthy, especially since we’re not expecting the temperature to move much at all day.

The official climate records for the greater Triangle are kept at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, so even though we are not necessarily at that location, that’s where we have to look. On this day in 1971, the high temperature was 46 degrees – the record for the lowest maximum temperature for the day. The runners-up are 48 degrees in 1933 and 50 degrees in more than one year. So, if we stay cooler than 46 degrees today, we will break that record for the coolest high temperature on this date.

In case you are wondering, our normal (30-year average) high temperature for today is 66 degrees, and our normal low is 43 degrees. Yes, this is definitely an unusually chilly day.

Weather Blog

Late October storms can be devastating

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This weekend, Minnesota had the earliest snowfall of the season since 2009. It caused more than 300 auto accidents and spinouts across the state. As the low-pressure system that caused that snowfall moved eastward, the trailing cold front joined up with the remnants of Tropical Storm Philippe causing that center of low pressure to move northward up the east coast.

sat image

Experimental product from the new GOES-16 satellite system and the National Weather Service showing the massive storm over New England the morning of October 30, 2017

By this morning, the resulting massive storm had left over one million customers without power from the northern Mid-Atlantic states into New England. Heavy rains and high winds caused flooding, downed trees, and additional accidents.

All of this happened on the weekend we observed the five-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. Sandy was a hurricane that hit the northeast coast directly, became extra-tropical, and was devastating on a larger level, being credited for 233 deaths and $75 billion in damages.

Tropical storms and hurricanes that make landfall are disastrous on their own, but when they collide and/or combine with other storm systems – such as a strong cold front – they become even more powerful. The moisture content of the tropical storms adds to the potential for extreme precipitation events, which could take the form of torrential, flooding downpours or heavy snow depending on the temperature. This weekend, residents of New England avoided the addition of the snowfall that accompanied Sandy. While those affected would probably not call themselves “lucky,” it clearly could have been worse.

I doubt we’ll see a fatality count recorded from this weekend’s system the way that we did with Superstorm Sandy, but I read there were four in Minnesota and I personally know of one here in North Carolina that can be blamed on the weather. I would not be surprised if there were more that haven’t been tallied nationally, yet. It goes without saying that those five are five too many.

Weather Blog

Fall finally arrives!

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Did you have frost on your pumpkin this morning? Growing up in the deep south, that’s how I knew that fall weather had settled in. Of course, if you don’t have pumpkins, grass works just as well.

metar reports

This map shows reports of area conditions at 7:20 AM on October 18, 2017. Temperatures across the region are shown in red. The dew points are shown in green.

By the calendar, climatological autumn started on September 1, and astronomical autumn began with the Equinox on September 22. However, you know in the south, we still wear white after Labor Day, a white Christmas usually equates to the dominant color of decorations, and you don’t need a sweater at a football game until at least mid-October.

This morning was the first one this season that we had state-wide reports of temperatures cold enough for frost to form. How does today measure up to the average day for first frost? It’s a little on the early side for Wake County. I couldn’t find specific dates for Wake Forest or Creedmoor because neither has an official reporting station, so I had to go with the Raleigh-Durham airport’s numbers.

According to a North Carolina State Extension Publication, “Average First Fall Frost Dates for Selected North Carolina Locations,” the average date of first frost at RDU is October 27. Today is 9 days ahead of that date, so it is a little earlier than normal.

I’m sure someone reading this is wondering what an early frost means with respect to the winter. It really doesn’t mean anything. Frost in our area just shows that we experienced a cold night with not much wind and enough moisture on surfaces to freeze. The high pressure that is controlling our weather this week has set us up for dramatically cool temperatures overnight. As humidity starts to rise this weekend, our nighttime temperatures will start to creep back up, and it could be a while before we see frost again.

Weather Blog

A Gen Xer’s thoughts on GENX

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Do you remember back in ’69 when Lake Erie caught fire? Honestly, I don’t. It happened 5 years before I was born. However, I do remember hearing the story and until today, I thought the song “Smoke on the Water” was about that event.

Okay, I’ll admit I was wrong about that. I’m much better at 1980s music trivia, I promise.

As a further correction to my inaccurate memory of hearing the story somewhere years ago, what really caught fire was the Cuyahoga River, which feeds into Lake Erie. For those like me who don’t quite remember why, factory pollution, agricultural runoff, and sewage used to be common contaminants in waterways – so common that occasionally, those pollutants and contaminants were visually evident in the form of fire on the water.

According to ClevelandHistorical.org, the burning river was one of the events that lead to the passage of the Clean Water Act by Congress in 1972, as well as the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement by the United States and Canada.

Sometimes it takes dramatic visual evidence to bring people’s attention to a problem, especially one that took years to develop.

Lake Erie

The author’s view of a small part of a pretty clean Lake Erie, standing beside The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and looking toward FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 10, 2014.

The river and Lake Erie are much cleaner these days. Unfortunately, it took laws, regulatory code, and watchdog groups to get it back into shape. There is a legitimate reason to have the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Environmental Quality. As much as I’d like to think that we are past the age of people dumping pollution or allowing leakage of contaminants into bodies of water, especially those that provide drinking water, I know there will always be some person or organization who will do it because they think they can get away with it.

My generation doesn’t remember much about life before all the regulations. And the Millennials? They’ve always had them. While I don’t necessarily think we need the government to control all our actions, I do think a little regulation goes along way, and that thought is based on the evidence.

Flash-forward from the late 1960s to the news of the present era – a spinoff company of Dupont was dumping an as-yet unregulated chemical called GENX into the Cape Fear River. This particular compound is a technology used in the of the creation of non-stick coating on cookware, mobile phones, and laptops among other products. Testing has shown that the amount in the water is minimal and unlikely to cause harm to humans at current levels. That reality is not squelching the outrage that a company thinks it’s okay to dump pollution into the water just because the particular type of pollution has yet to be named and coded into regulation. People downstream have the right to be unhappy about it.

The question is whether they realize they are up in arms about the wrong contaminant. GENX would need to be present in a level 100 times greater than it is now to do real harm.

According to a news story on WRAL.com published on July 28, 2017:

“The Cape Fear River is full of unregulated chemical byproducts, Knappe said, noting his main research has been into 1,4 dioxane, which is produced during the manufacture of plastics and polyester. The EPA has labeled the compound a likely human carcinogen linked to kidney and testicular cancer.

1,4 dioxane is a component of commercial solvents like trichloroethylene. In the past, it’s been most commonly found contaminating groundwater when it leaks from underground storage tanks. But Knappe says it’s also currently being discharged into the Cape Fear watershed by manufacturing operations in the Triad.”

WRAL explains that Detlef Knappe, who is quoted in the excerpt from their story above, is “a professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at N.C. State and one of the state’s top researchers for Gen X and other contaminants in drinking water.”

So, why is GENX making the news and being discussed in the state legislature when at least one much more dangerous substance is in the water at much higher levels?  As the marketing campaign asked back in the 80s, “Inquiring minds want to know.”

I have my ideas, which include the fact that GENX is easier to say and remember than some of those proven carcinogens that are also in the water. It’s news to the people downstream who have been arguably imbibing it with their drinking water for at least three plus years, but didn’t learn about it until this year. They are (understandably) mad and demanding something be done. They want regulation and reparation, so GENX is part of this year’s breaking news cycle and a top story of the summer.

I also wonder if some people are taking the story and running with it because they want to point to a recent, popular topic as a reason not to cut funding to the EPA. We’ve seen this year that science is a touchy and highly political subject, like it or not. Any story from a scientific perspective that can be used to support an argument in one way or another for the funding of an agency that isn’t quite loved by the current presidential administration will get more aggressive play in the media than those that aren’t.

Maybe it’s true, but I am claiming the previous two paragraphs as pure speculation on my part because I have no evidence. I will be the first to admit that, so don’t quote me as knowing anything that I don’t.

What I do know is that the EPA and the DEQ still have their place in this world as long as people, companies, and organizations still do things that most of the rest of us consider irresponsible and wrong just because they think they might get away with it.

Weather Blog

Weather has new relevance as a homeowner

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For just over a week, my life has revolved around a huge milestone in my adult life. I bought a house! I’ve closed, cleaned, hired service people, moved, and used my electric lawn mower for the first time. It has been a whirlwind, and the weather has been perfect for all of it! Maybe I’m greedy. I could use just one more weekend of great weather so I can do some of my outdoor projects this weekend – like painting the porch rails – but it looks like my luck is about to run out.

While thinking about all I’ve done since closing and all that still needs to be done to make the house feel like my own, I’m somewhat surprised at how much the weather has played into my planning. I mean, of course it has, but this much? Here are a few examples:

Rain barrels

Did you know rain barrels are considered a fixture in real estate terms? I would have bought the house had they not already been on the property, but the fact that they were there was a bonus. Rain barrels have always been on my “wants” list for when I owned a home. Those giant drums that catch the rain runoff from your gutters can be used to water the plants in your flower beds and gardens. At the moment, mine are empty, and that is fine since I needed to move them for the power washers anyway. A full rain barrel is exceedingly heavy. My thinking was that once I stained the deck, they could be put back in place. With a decent chance for rain on Sunday, I may have to postpone the staining and put them back sooner.

Garden

Speaking of gardens, I have one now! What do I know about gardening? Not as much as I would like to. I mean there is more to having a garden than just planting seeds and waiting for veggies to pop out of the green stuff, right? I’m just kidding. I’m not quite that ignorant, but I have a lot to learn if I want to harvest some healthy goodness next year. Right now, the tomatoes are small and green, and the pepper plants are wilted and sad. Even I can tell what’s left from this summer’s growing season needs rain.

Outdoor living space

The house has a nice deck. It needs a little TLC, but that doesn’t bother me too much… until I realize the TLC requires another full weekend of sunshine. I guess that project will have to wait.

So, my garden and rain barrels need water, but the deck and other projects such as cleaning the over-stuffed gutters need more dry weather. Suddenly, I’m looking at the forecast with an entirely new perspective. I’m sure those of you reading this who have been homeowners for years are snickering a bit and thinking “welcome to the American dream.” I’m fine with it, really. It’s all part of the life I’m building for myself.

Wed-Wed QPF forecast

The Weather Prediction Center’s precipitation forecast for October 4 through the morning of October 11 shows over an inch of total rainfall is possible for our area over the next seven days.

Oh, but this is a weather blog, and not an HGTV article, right? I’m sure you’ve caught that the pattern is about to change. The area of high pressure that has dominated our weather this week will move eastward by Friday. Its movement will allow two low pressure systems to influence our forecast. One system will be moving across the Great Lakes region. The other could be named Tropical Storm Nate in the next 24 hours. It looks like Nate will move up through the Gulf of Mexico, into the Deep South, and then link up with the frontal system associated with that Great Lakes low as it crosses the Appalachians.

The result of all this atmospheric motion will be a change in the wind direction, which in turn, will bring warmer, humid air up from the Gulf of Mexico. Our dew points will increase, leading to warmer overnight lows this weekend. Our chances for rain will also increase starting late Saturday evening/overnight. Sunday will bring a good chance for showers with some thunder possible, and the weather will remain unsettled through Monday and into Tuesday.

The deck can wait. I think I will celebrate the rain along with those plants in my garden.