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It's cool now -- but the COLD weather is coming!

It's funny to watch yourself throughout the progression in season's and see how your opinion on the weather changes. This morning we're in the upper 40's, and many of us whining about how chilly is it -- but this may feel balmy by this weekend!

Looking ahead into your forecast we're seeing some big changes on the horizon once we get out to Friday and Saturday. The first pure arctic blast of the season is setting itself up for an assault on the lower 48 this weekend and it will bring that cold air all the way to Wilmington. But just how cold will it be? Lets take a look at the maps.

GFS Model Forecast: Wednesday Morning


Looking at the GFS forecast for Wednesday afternoon, we can get a hint at what's to come by looking at the surface map (in the upper right hand corner). Notice the area of high pressure gathering itself in the Candian Rockies -- what we would call the "source region" for this weather system. We look at this "source regions" when forecasting weather systems because they tells us what type of air mass to expect. With this area of high pressure originating in the Canadian Rockies, we're looking at a very cold, dry air mass heading south.

GFS Model Forecast: Friday afternoon

As we fast forward the model to Friday afternoon, the area of high pressure has migrated to the Central Plains, just east of the Rockies. Believe it or not, once it gets here it's already affecting our weather. A strong cold front that you see just off the Atlantic coast will push through Thursday night and start to shift winds out of the north in our area.

The strength of the low pressure in the Northeast with it's counter-clockwise flow and the high pressure in the Plains with it's clockwise flow will combine to create an intense northwest flow along the East Coast. This is essentially a "direct connection" with Hudson Bay, meaning pure Arctic air is truly flowing into our area by the time we head into Friday afternoon.

Temperature-wise, don't be surprised if even getting past the 60 degree mark is a struggle both Friday and Saturday afternoon; but the main story will be the temperatures at night. Widespread lows in the 30's can be expected this weekend, and our first Frost and Freeze watches of the season will likely need to be issued for Southeastern North Carolina; especially inland counties.  

This isn't far off in terms of climatology. If you look at the map below courtesy of the Wilmington National Weather Service, you can see the average "First Freeze Dates" are typically right around this time of year, anywhere from late October to early November.


It's too early too tell whether or not we'll get some frost across the area or not. But with highs in the 30's, any way you slice it it's going to be cold! Get ready for it. 

Of course it's Election Day out there as well. No matter who you're voting for, make sure you get out there and excercise your right! Here's the forecast at the polls:

That's all for now!

- TB



By: Tim Buckley