Boy the weather certainly does look interesting here over the next 48 hours!
If you have been following the weather today you probably have noticed the pummeling that Florida has been receiving. The Sunshine State really hasn't been living up to it's name! Miami had 2.88" of rain in the past 24hours. That was actually a record for the day.
The system dousing Florida is an area of low pressure that will intensify as it interacts with a deepening trough aloft. This low will be moving in our general direction over the next 48 hours and it's the recipe for a cold, wet forecast for the eastern part of the state. What we see still depends on the movement and speed of this low.
Computer models are more in consensus with us seeing rain, but the speed of the system remains an issue. One model we use called the NAM gives us as much as 4.18" of rain over the next 60hours. Of course this is the slower model with the onset of rain Thursday afternoon and ending it Saturday morning. We think this may be a little slow.
The other model, the GFS, gives us 1.16" of rain with a quicker solution with the onset of rain Thursday morning in the south and ending it Friday afternoon. This may be more realistic of the two models.
Our WRAL WeatherScope model shows rain, but perhaps not as much as the NAM and GFS.
Regardless of the differences in the domestic weather models, there are a few things we will actually experience with this system. Due to the northeast-east wind off the Atlantic, we will likely experience cloudy skies Thursday and Friday. The wind field, due to the proximity of high pressure to the north and the approaching low, will be tight. This means a strong gusty wind especially on Friday. Since surface dew points through the period will remain in the 40s, any rain that falls into the air mass will perpetuate evaporative cooling. This means it will be a cold rain, again especially on Friday. By the way, our record low maximum temperature at RDU Friday is 55 degrees. We could potentially tie that record if we see a decent amount of rain or could even break it.
What is remarkable about this whole event, once the low passes by Friday night, a ridge of high pressure will build aloft. This means we could go from record breaking cold to big heat by early next week. Isn't weather fun!