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Hello Summer! We're talking heat and hurricanes

Now that we're finally bidding our blocking pattern "bye bye!", we're saying hello to a new pattern that just screams summer. Yes, the heat and humidity will be back in a big way, bringing some sweat to your brow. So what's really going on? Lets get started shall we?

The Omega Block Breaks Down... (and there was much rejoicing)

If you've been following us for the last two weeks, we've been talking non-stop about this "blocking pattern" and how it's holding up weather systems across the country. For us, that's meant a huge area of low pressure up and down the East Coast that's brought some cooler, more unsettled days to the area. The problem with these "blocks" is that once they set-up, they're hard to break. But already we've started to do that.

Here's the Jet Stream on Friday morning across the country:

See the difference? It's subtle -- but the low over the East has lifted north, and will be kicking out over the Atlantic over the next 12-24 hours. This will allow the ridge in the middle of the country to move along East. That means all that warmth and humidity that's been building over Texas and Oklahoma (highs in the 90's by the way) will move into the Southeast.

"Summer, summer, summer-time!"

Fast-forward things to next week. By now the Jet Stream is WAY to the north of us. In fact, it's even passing through customs and heading into Canada. High pressure will be anchored just offshore just like we see so often in the summer. (Think Bermuda High)

This means warm, humid, southwesterly breezes pumping all that heat and humidity right into the area for days on end. Not surprisingly, our temperatures will shoot up - just building each day. As of right now - Friday 5/20 AM - I'm thinking 90's are a good bet for most of us, as long as you're a good distance from the coast. With water temperatures still hovering in the low 70's, highs at the beaches should be held to the mid 80's - but rapidly increasing away from the coast (Wilmington city, Leland, Burgaw, etc).

Bottom line - summer is here next week, and you better get ready! It's going to feel hot!

Let the Hurricane Forecasting games begin!

And with June 1st sneaking up on us, we have this year's seasonal forecast from the National Hurricane Center; for what it's worth. As a general rule, I try not to play up these forecasts too much - because I think in a way they can be deceiving. A seasonal forecast predicts how many storms will pop up in a given year, not where they're going to go.

Really - it doesn't matter if there are 19 storms in a season if none of them hit land (see 2010 Hurricane Season). But! If you have only a few storms, but one of them is a devastating Category 5 landfall, it's one of the most destructive seasons ever (See Hurricane Andrew and the 1992 Hurricane Season). So, this forecast doesn't tell you much about the possible impact in Wilmington, North Carolina.

With that being said, I'll step off my soapbox and look at these numbers. All signs are pointing toward another above-normal season, with over a dozen tropical storms forming in the Atlantic. As would be expected, over half of these would become hurricanes, with about half of the hurricanes over Category 3 strength.

Here's the take away!! Heading into Hurricane Season, you and your family need to be prepared and you need to have a plan. Period! There are some great online resources out there that you can use. Check out www.wwaytv3.com/hurricanes101 or http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes for some great tips.

That's all for now!

Have a great weekend everybody - and enjoy that weather. Maybe I'll see you at the beach!

- TB

By: Tim Buckley

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