Thursday, December 7, 2023

Navigating the recent ‘abnormal,’ swampy Wilmington weather


Temperatures are hot and the air is thicker than normal in southeastern North Carolina. (Port City Daily photo / COURTESY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE)

It’s hot. And wet. In mid-October.

Reid Hawkins, a science officer with Wilmington’s National Weather Service office confirms, “it’s abnormal.”

Though the National Weather Service has yet to organize definitive data regarding humidity levels in the Carolinas, they do notice the recent heat wave (emphasis on the wave) is off-pattern compared to recent years.

“In a 30-year average, it’s above average,” Hawkins said.

High pressure centered off the coast has been pumping in low-level moisture in the Carolinas. Hurricane Nate brought in a surge of additional moisture on top of the existing system patterns. Typically around this time of year, fronts roll in that bring in dry, cool air.

To the potential inconvenience and annoyance of southeastern locals, these high pressures are blocking any chance of cold fronts coming through to bring in the relief of fall weather.

“The pattern is stagnant,” Hawkins said. “It’s warmer than normal.”

To combat the potential hazard lingering moisture in the air can pose, Hawkins suggests people ought to keep their air conditioning units running to prevent mold growth.

Referencing the California wildfires which have devastated over 100,000 acres, Hawkins notes our abnormal weather patterns may be unpleasant, but it’s relative.

Keep the air condition units running to keep out the mugginess because the summer-like weather will likely continue throughout the coming weeks.

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