Weather Permitting: Gloomy weekend in store for Fayetteville area

Farewell, 2023 hurricane season.

The Atlantic season comes to a quiet close tonight, without a landfalling hurricane along the Atlantic coast. Only one hurricane, Category 1 Idalia, hit the East Coast. The Carolinas had only two tropical storms, Idalia and Ophelia, and we were never in the "cone of uncertainty" for any hurricane.

There was one drawback to the lack of tropical activity. The Cape Fear region usually counts on tropical weather for up to a third of our summer rainfall. That's a major reason that the region finds itself in a drought this fall.

The upcoming weekend will help with that, at least a bit. Fayetteville can look forward to a warmer, if wetter, weekend.

Recent rainfall helped dent our drought.
Recent rainfall helped dent our drought.

Here's the setup

The stout cold air pattern that plunged temperatures in the region into the teens is swiftly shifting offshore. Fayetteville's lows of 24 and 27 the past two days will be a chilly memory as much warmer air flows into the Carolinas.

With this warmer air comes increased moisture. Look for a warm front to move into the region on Friday, while a trough develops to the west. In between the two air masses, there will be increasingly unsettled (meaning rain) weather.

Warmer air will be noticed as early as Friday morning. The day should start at about 38 in Fayetteville — well above the low to mid-20s we experience this week. Highs will reach the low 60s.

The weekend will see increased scattered showers.
The weekend will see increased scattered showers.

But there will be clouds, as well, and a decent chance of light rain after sunset. There will also likely be a fairly strong temperature gradient setting up from west to east. Temperatures in the Piedmont and Triad could be 10-15 degrees cooler, so if you're traveling that way dress accordingly. Lows in Fayetteville will probably hold in the mid-50s.

Saturday looks wetter as a southern jet stream pushes more moisture into the Carolinas. The Cape Fear region will likely be gloomy all day, with on-and-off showers and highs in the mid-60s. Rain totals could top a half-inch, more in the path of concentrated showers. Overnight lows may stay above 60.

Mild temperatures will continue into Sunday, with Fayetteville possibly reaching 70 degrees. Rain chances will ease during the day as another trough pushes through the state, but clouds are likely to remain.

Next week

Cooler air will push the rain chances offshore overnight Sunday, leaving the region cooler and dry on Monday. Highs return to a more seasonable upper 50s, lows in the upper 30s.

During the week, another series of troughs will swing through, but for now they look dry. Expect highs to dip into the mid-50s, with lows near freezing by mid-week, with a slight warming trend after that.

Down the road, it looks like this pattern will continue into mid-December. A generally mild Pacific flow will prevent any major lingering cold from setting up, which reduces any hope of wintry precipitation for the next few weeks.

Got a weather question? Chick Jacobs can be reached at ncweatherhound@gmail.com or NCWeatherhound on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Fayetteville, NC weather forecast for the weekend