Daily Update

September 30th Update

I really do hate to say it, but there is more rain on the way, potentially to historic levels this weekend. Several competing weather systems (one of which is of the hurricane variety) will result in more wet conditions for our area. If you are seeing sunshine this morning, savor every moment as it doesn’t look to last very long. We can also expect to see a cool-down over the next few days to go along with that rain. Please be sure to stay on top of the weather scenario over the next several days. There is still some uncertainty with the forecast, but if Hurricane Joaquin takes the track that several prediction models currently have it taking, major flooding will be possible this weekend for a good deal of the state. I’ll do my best to keep the blog updated, but be sure to stay tuned to local media and with the National Weather Service to stay on top of the situation.

A cold front is poised to begin passing through our region today. This front will increase our cloud coverage and bring yet another chance for some rain to the region as we progress through the day. Due to the warmer conditions we have seen over the past few days, some thunderstorms are even possible this afternoon and evening (especially for locations along and east of the Blue Ridge Mountains). These will be isolated in nature, but heavy rains and gusty winds can be expected with any storm that does develop overhead. Highs today will moderate slightly, topping out in the lower 70s to low 80s east of the mountains. Clouds and rain showers will stick around this evening, as low temperatures drop down into the mid 50s to lower 60s across the state.

Unfortunately, the atmosphere doesn’t look to give us any breaks tomorrow and Friday as far as rain is concerned. Wet conditions look to be locked in for us over the next couple of days. What is known as a blocking ridge is currently taking residence in the Atlantic and this will keep the rain-producers from exiting the area. This phenomenon will also play a big part in determining Hurricane Joaquin’s impacts on our region over the weekend (more on that below). Regardless of the tropical system, our region is in for a good amount of rain over the next 48 hours. Showers are possible throughout the day tomorrow, so don’t pack away that rain gear just yet. Highs for your Thursday will be quite a bit cooler behind the front as well, hovering in the lower to mid 60s. Rain showers will actually increase in coverage and intensity as we progress into the evening and overnight hours tomorrow evening. Cloud coverage will remain thick and lows will bottom out in the lower to upper 50s.

We are in for a good bit of additional rain before any potential impacts of TS Joaquin this weekend. (NOAA, WPC, NWS)
As you can see, we are in for a good bit of additional rain before any potential impacts of Hurricane Joaquin this weekend. (NOAA, WPC, NWS)

Friday will round out the work week with much of the same. In fact, Friday currently looks to be wetter than today and tomorrow. Also plan to see high temperatures in the mid 50s to lower 60s and cloudy skies overhead once more. No changes to the weather story Friday evening, with clouds and rain showers continuing to dominate the area. Low temperatures Friday night will be in the low to mid 50s across the state.

As if that weren’t enough, Hurricane Joaquin could deliver even more rain to the region over the coming weekend. There is still some uncertainty as to the exact path that the storm could take, but most models have the storm taking a turn inland along the VA and NC borders sometime Sunday. If this scenario pans out, historic flooding could be possible for our region. The European model is one of the very few that has the storm moving away from the coast of the United States and off to sea. This could very well be a possibility and hopefully the situation will become clearer as we progress through the next 48 hours. Here are a few screenshots from a couple of different models:

This is the GFS' solution for Sunday evening around 8PM. This is obviously the worst case scenario, but most models are currently going with this solution. (Tropical Tidbits)
This is the GFS solution for Sunday evening around 8PM. This is obviously the worst case scenario, but most models are currently going with this solution. (Tropical Tidbits)
This is a different product from the GFS above, but it is for the same time period (8PM Sunday). As you can see, TS Joaquin is well off the coast of the US, with little to no impacts other than a possible increased storm surge along the coast. (Tropical Tidbits)
This is a different product from the GFS above, but it is for the same time period (8PM Sunday). As you can see, Hurricane Joaquin is well off the coast of the US, with little to no impacts other than a possible increased storm surge along the coast. (Tropical Tidbits)
This is accumulated rainfall for Sunday 8PM from the GFS model. This is the worst case scenario, where we could see another 5+ inches of additional rainfall. (Tropical Tidbits)
This is accumulated rainfall for Sunday 8PM from the GFS model. Again, this is the worst case scenario, where we could see another 5+ inches of additional rainfall. (Tropical Tidbits)
Here is the National Hurricane Center's current thoughts on the track of Hurricane Joaquin. (NOAA, NHC, NWS)
Here is the National Hurricane Center’s current thoughts on the track of Hurricane Joaquin. (NOAA, NHC, NWS)

As you can see there is still a great deal of uncertainty with what exactly will go down. Everything will depend on the track the storm decides to take. If I had to guess, a solution somewhere between the GFS and the European models will be the most likely scenario. I believe the storm will take a turn inland at some point and heavy rains can be expected wherever it decides to do so. Nevertheless, we should be prepared for the worst. If current scenarios within the models play out, historic flooding could be on the way for our region. I can’t stress enough how important it is to stay very aware of the weather over the next few days as the situation becomes clearer. If you or someone you know lives in an area prone to flooding, please be sure to check in on them and make sure that they have a safe place to stay. Also, don’t ever attempt to drive across a flooded roadway, as it takes very little water to wash away most vehicles. I know this was a very long post today, but I wanted to do my best to give you my thoughts on the situation. I will do my best to keep the blog and my Twitter updated with the latest information as it becomes available over the next 48 hours. Thanks as always for tuning in and please stay safe out there.

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