It's been hot and dry across the Cape Fear region for much of May. Both streaks will come to a halt over the next 24 hours.
A subtropical low pressure system will collide with an approaching cold front over the Carolinas, bringing copious rainfall and much cooler temperatures for the Fayetteville area this week.
Both are welcome. Much of the region is mired in a continued drought, and last week's flirtation with triple digits did nothing to help. In fact, last Friday's 99 degrees tied the record high for the date and was the hottest May reading in four years.
After that, how does a high on Tuesday of about 78 sound? Pretty dang good? I can hear the air conditioners across Fayetteville breathing a sigh of relief.
Here's the setup: For the past two weeks, tropical modeling hinted that a system deep in the Caribbean might develop into something of note. It never did, but the remnants finally waddled ashore in Florida. Now, those remnants are sliding up the East coast, bringing heavy rain along the way.
By this afternoon, the leading edges of this system will be crossing the Cape Fear region. The air will become saturated, with PWAT (potential rainfall) levels of a summery 2 inches possible.
At the same time, a potent cold front will approach the Carolinas. With any breaks in cloud cover, instability ahead of this front could trigger isolated strong storms. Otherwise, the front will effectively wring moisture out of the atmosphere this evening and overnight.
Heaviest rainfall will likely remain to our north and east, but Fayetteville still looks in line to receive up to 2 inches of rain. Isolated areas under heavier storms could easily top 3 inches by Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, the system is projected to stall to our northeast, along the northern Coastal Plain. Scattered light showers will cross the Cape Fear region much of the day, with cloud cover and a northeast flow holding temperatures in the upper 70s.
Wednesday is looking a bit murky as the low is expected to hang around offshore. A hybrid CAD (cold air damming) situation looks likely, but it's uncertain how far south the cooler air will hold. For now, let's go with cloudy and a high of about 80-82 for Fayetteville. Light spotty showers are possible, but nothing to consider the day a washout.
Down the road: Look for an approaching front to bring showers, possibly strong ones, into the Cape Fear region on Thursday with highs on the low 80s. After the front pushes all this offshore, the region is looking dry and pleasant for the weekend, with clearing skies and highs in the low 80s.
Keep the umbrella handy, and have a great week!
Got a weather question? Chick Jacobs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or NCWeatherhound on Twitter.
Subscribe today to support local journalism and enjoy unlimited digital access including videos, apps, sports news, and more. Special introductory offer for new subscribers only.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: Copious rainfall, cooler weather headed to Fayetteville area