First Alert Forecast: tumbling temps, dangerous rips, hyperactive tropics...

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 4:56 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:34 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Good Thursday evening to you! Highs across SE NC soared deep into the 90s on Thursday afternoon but fell a little short of record levels, except in Lumberton where the mercury touched 96.

A sharp cold front remains likely to bluster through the Cape Fear Region Thursday evening. Fall officially arrives with the autumnal equinox just after 9 p.m. and, quite appropriately, cooler and crisp breezes will begin to flow around that time. Have a sweatshirt ready to go for brisk temperatures in the upper 50s first thing Friday!

Even with the impending coolness, ocean water temperatures ought to remain in the enticing lower 80s for the next few days. Careful heading into that surf, though! Swell from the distant but powerful Hurricane Fiona will bring purposeful breakers of three to five and locally six or more feet, plus a high risk of rip currents.

Fiona is one of many noteworthy items on the Atlantic tropical scene. Its vicious core will brush Bermuda through Friday. Farther east, Tropical Storm Gaston remains zero threat to North America. And deep in the Caribbean Sea, disturbance Invest 98-L leads a gang of several low latitude features with storm development chances.

The most likely scenario for Invest 98-L is: it develops into a tropical storm named Hermine or Ian over the Caribbean Sea this weekend and intensifies as it tracks into the Gulf of Mexico next week. It is possible but not guaranteed the Carolinas will feel part of this system by the 30th; specifics are yet undefinable in any case. Stay tuned!

Catch your full seven-day forecast here: http://webpubcontent.gray.tv/wect/MAXSevendayWECT.jpg.

Or, customize your location and extend your outlook to October 1 with your WECT Weather App.

Atlantic Hurricane Season rolls through November. Stay ready for anything with wect.com/hurricane.