CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - So many of you have asked, "is this wet pattern going to stay with us all Summer long?" So, I thought I'd post the latest U.S. 90-day precipitation & temperature outlook graphics from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center.
In short, their forecasts call for somewhat warmer than average conditions for the eastern seaboard, the south and the western states and a continued pattern of wetter than average conditions for the eastern half of the nation, including the Carolinas.
These two forecasts do seem to be at odds with one another, as typically we experience hot summer weather when we have more sunshine, less cloud cover and only occasional thundershowers, not in a pattern dominated by clouds and rain.
But we have to view these for what they are: 90-day forecasts. What that means is the WBTV News viewing area could have a very hot July with just average (or even below-average rainfall) but still have a wet June and August to offset the dry July, making for a "wet summer," as a theoretical example.
It's important to note, these forecasts are broad-brush outlooks and they do not attempt to delve into finer details, so we can't dig too deep into them. But one factor regarding the rainfall forecast across the Southeast is likely precipitation related to an expected uptick in tropical activity coming in from the Atlantic and up from the Gulf of Mexico as we roll deeper into the Hurricane Season (June 1 - November 30).
So, we'll have to sit back and see what unfolds. Certainly many parts of the region have been a little on the cool side and extremely wet thus far this spring, especially in the mountains 6 to 18 inches of rain over just the past two weeks).
But oddly enough, Charlotte is likely to end May with a rainfall deficit of about a 1/2 inch, while at the same time, the Queen City is running a rainfall surplus for the year, also of about 1/2 inch.
- Al Conklin