TUESDAY: Mostly sunny hot and humid. Isolated late PM t’storms west of highway 258. Highs: 90 to 94 inland, 86 to 90 beaches. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph.

TUESDAY NIGHT:  Variably cloudy warm and muggy. Storms ending early. Lows: 74 to 78 inland, 78 to 82 beaches. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny warm and humid with scattered afternoon thunderstorms east of Highway 17. Highs: 86 to 90 inland, 84 to 86 beaches. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph.

Marine Forecast: The Rip Current threat is low from Virginia Beach, VA to Surf City, NC. Seas will be 3' to 5' at the Crystal Coast and on the Outer Banks. Water temperatures are in the low 80s at the Crystal Coast and Outer Banks. The Rivers and Sounds are in the mid 80s and will have a moderate chop on Tuesday. Winds will be from the southwest at 10-15 knots, with 15-20 knots in the afternoon. High tide is at 6:15am and low tide is at 12:25pm.

WEATHER SUMMARY: After a brief break from the heat and humidity, it returns for the rest of the week.

Our weather pattern as we head into the Independence Day holiday weekend will be controlled by the jet stream. It has reconfigured itself from the way it was during our 3 week heat wave. The upper level ridge has now formed over the Pacific Northwest up into the Canadian Rockies. This is causing cooler air to be tapped near the North Pole and sent southward across the Great Lakes and into the Northeast U.S. As each of these pockets of cold air rotate through the upper level trough over the eastern U.S. they will tough off rounds of storms. The trick is trying to time their arrival into eastern North Carolina.

A couple minor pockets of cold air will rotate over us the next couple helping to touch off afternoon thunderstorms. Today they will be west of Highway 258 and tomorrow it will be east of Highway 17. These will be more of the typical summertime pop-up afternoon storms.

A stronger pocket of cold air will move through late Thursday night into Friday. This will be our biggest chance for rain for the week.

The key to our holiday weekend forecast will be how the system moves through Friday. If it comes through as one piece, then we’ll have less coverage of storms this weekend. But if it comes out in a couple pieces, then we’ll have more coverage of storms for the weekend. At this time it’s too hard to tell exactly how the weekend will unfold exactly.

At worst, I’d expect some scattered storms both days around in the late afternoon.

You can always get the latest forecast and weather information on wcti12.com and on the StormTrack 12 weather app as well as following us on Facebook and Twitter.

Our normal high 89°, low 70°.

---Meteorologist LES STILL