Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Heat Advisory Continues Wednesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we suspected yesterday, the NWS re-issued the regional HEAT ADVISORY for today and has already extended the advisory through Wednesday evening.  Those working outdoors need to take special precautions as hourly Heat Index (‘feels like’ temperatures) values climb above 105° in the shade again on Wednesday (and possibly Thursday).
Our forecast stays mainly dry through Wednesday, with only a slight chance of rain for Thursday and Friday.  Temperatures through much of the night will remain at or above 80° again, with lows only easing into the upper 70°s briefly for metro Baton Rouge before the morning warm-up begins.  And the highs on Wednesday will once again return to the mid 90°s for many neighborhoods.  We’ll keep it just about as hot-and-humid for Thursday as well, so don’t be surprised to see the HEAT ADVISORY extended yet another day.  The one difference for Thursday is that we may see a couple of showers by the afternoon, but don’t bank on it.
The upper-level ridge we’ve been watching since the weekend remained locked over the Southern Plains today and we expect only a very minor contraction of that ridge and limited westward shift by late Wednesday into Thursday.  A look at national radar today shows rains riding around the northern and eastern edge of that ridge, but those cooling showers and storms are a good 150-200 miles east and northeast of metro BR.  No chance we’ll see those any time soon.
So the upper ridge is putting the clamps on vertical development of clouds, while surface high pressure over the Gulf keeps a steady SW flow of low-level moisture inbound over the viewing area.  The result: humid conditions persist but the clouds are getting “pancaked” from above, limiting the extent of cloud cover and allowing the sun to shine throughout much of the day.  In fact, Tuesday might have been even a little hotter had it not been for the haze resulting from the very moist Gulf air mass.
Expect very similar conditions on Wednesday and possible Thursday as well.  Even Friday looks mainly-dry for the viewing area.
By the weekend, however, we think that the core of the upper-level ridge will have eased a little farther to the west and will have weakened enough to allow a return of scattered afternoon showers and a few t-storms.  The scattered rains and additional cloud cover should keep weekend afternoon highs in the low 90°s: we’re thinking a 30% to 40% rain chance for Saturday with a return of scattered t-showers on Sunday.
And in the tropics?  We can’t really say that the tropics are “coming alive,” but there are two tropical waves worth mentioning.  The first is located (this afternoon) over the northern Caribbean and along the islands of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico.  But satellite trends show that this Caribbean wave is being impacted by fairly persistent shear -- development any time soon seems unlikely.
The second wave looks more interesting, and the NHC is giving it a 30% chance of developing into something tropical in the next two days.  Located over the central tropical Atlantic, midway between the Lesser Antilles and Africa, this easterly wave is too far out to sea to be of any immediate concern, but early forecast guidance suggests that the disturbance should reach the Lesser Antilles in the next three to four days.  Additionally, the guidance indicates slow-but-steady development as it tracks to the west and WNW at about 15 mph.  It’s almost August -- and it fits the August climatology.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Another Scorcher Tuesday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The combination of prolonged high temperatures (low to mid 90°s) and the oppressive humidity (dew points in the mid to upper 70°s) prompted the NWS to post a “Heat Advisory” for most of the WAFB viewing area.  The Advisory remains in effect officially until 7PM, but the later hours this evening will still remain very warm.  In fact, we’re thinking that temps will remain in the 80°s past midnight, with sunrise lows in the mid to upper 70°s again. 

And for you trivia buffs, this morning’s low of 79° for Metro Airport is the “warmest” morning (the “highest” morning minimum) we’ve seen thus far this summer.  And with the area Heat Index (‘feels like’ temp) climbing into the 100°s for 7 or more hours today, Monday was truly miserable day for those outdoors!

The latest message from the NWS suggests that they will hold-off on issuing another Heat Advisory for Tuesday until they see the overnight and early morning readings.  Our thinking is that tomorrow’s temps will be close enough to today’s so that even if the NWS does not officially post the Advisory, those spending considerable time outdoors on Tuesday should still take extra care in the oppressive heat!  We’re calling for highs on Tuesday to return to the mid to upper 90°s, with Heat Index values running well above 100° for several hours.

Unlike today (Monday), we’ll sneak a very slight chance for a cooling shower into the Tuesday forecast, with rain chances posted at less than 20% -- in other words, only a handful of neighborhoods get that cooling shower, and for others, the limited rains will only add to the humidity while doing little to knock down the afternoon heat.

Our outlook for Wednesday and Thursday doesn’t show much in the way of moderating temperatures, with morning starts in the mid to upper 70°s and highs in the mid 90°s, but at least rain chances ease up (ever so slightly) to 20%.  Heading towards the weekend, rain chances climb to around 30% for Friday, 30% to 40% for Saturday, and then linger around 30% for Sunday.  The better rain chances will come with a slight dip in afternoon highs, but don’t look for any relief from the 90°s any time soon.

We close out July without a single ‘named’ storm after that quick start to the season in May and June.  There is a tropical wave in the central tropical Atlantic that could gain our interest in the coming days as it glides westward at about 10-15 mph.  Conditions over the next few days should be somewhat conducive for modest development, but this wave is still several days from the eastern Caribbean, so we need not be concerned.

But please remember, we are now moving into the heart of tropical season for the Bayou State: more than 70% of Louisiana’s past tropical landfalls have occurred during the coming 10-week period:  are you Storm Ready?  There is still time to get your family and your business prepared!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Scattered T-Storms Friday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we’ve seen the past couple of days, just about all of the showers and t-storms that did develop this afternoon should be gone by or before sunset, and we’ll go to partly cloudy skies for the late evening and overnight.
Morning lows have been in the mid to upper 70°s the last couple of mornings -- that is a little warmer than normal for the morning start and we think that trend will continue for the next couple of days, at least.

The upper-level ridge of high pressure we’ve discussed the past few days will remain in place for Friday, but it looks like it will weaken a tad, allowing for slightly better rain chances for Friday afternoon.  We’re going with a 40% chance of afternoon and early evening showers and t-storms for the WAFB viewing area on Friday, but the clouds and rains won’t arrive early enough to keep us out of the 90°s for afternoon highs:  expect highs on Friday to reach the low to mid 90°s.
A pair of cool fronts will try to work their way south into the lower Mississippi Valley between now and Sunday.  The first front will stall well to our north -- over northern Alabama and Mississippi -- on Friday.  The second, follow-up front could make it as far south as central Mississippi and central Alabama by Sunday, but it too looks to stall and ultimately retreat northward.  Bottom line: no relief from the heat through the weekend.
In fact, our thinking is that the upper-level ridge may re-strengthen somewhat into the weekend, knocking rain chances back down to the “isolated” category (about a 20% probability) by Sunday.  The stronger ridging over the weekend likely will mean less cloud cover and more sunshine, driving afternoon highs in to the mid 90°s with many neighborhoods reaching the upper 90°s!
While it looks like the weekend weather will cooperate for some outdoor time -- whether it be golfing, boating, biking or yard work.  Just remember to be careful in the heat!  The temps and humidity will mean Heat Index values (‘feels like’ temps) well above 100° for several hours.
Although we continue to watch an area of t-storms in the northeastern Gulf, there appears to be little or no threat for it to develop into anything ‘tropical.’  We continue to track some easterly waves in the deep tropical Atlantic, but none of those are showing any signs of impending development either.  Yep -- all still looks “quiet” in the tropics!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More of the Same...

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Appears we are locked into a fairly consistent July weather pattern for at least the next couple of days: morning minimums in the mid 70°s, afternoon highs in the low to mid 90°s, and passing afternoon isolated to scattered t-showers for Thursday and Friday.
The warm, moist and unstable air continues to flow inland off the Gulf, while the upper-level ridge extending from the Plains to the Southeast U.S. limits -- but does not completely halt -- vertical lift and afternoon rain development.  We’ll go with 20% to 30% coverage for the next couple of days, with ever-so-slightly higher rain chances (30% - 40%) for Saturday.   Keep afternoon rain chances for Sunday at about 30% as well.
A cool front will sag southward into the mid Mississippi Valley during the weekend, but won’t make it this far south.  So there is no relief from the heat or the humidity in the 7-day forecast, with 70°s for lows and 90°s for highs into next week. 

Yep -- looks like a routine summertime pattern remains in place for the Gulf Coast, with afternoon “sea-breezes” being the main instigators for the isolated to afternoon rain.
It’s still quiet in the tropics.  Yesterday we noted the little disturbance in the central Atlantic with a modest chance of development, but that non-tropical spinner continues to move fairly quickly to the NE and is soon to encounter much cooler waters, ending any chance for it to become “Ernesto.”  While there are a few easterly waves moving through the tropical Atlantic region, none show any threat of development at this time.  We may very well end 2012 without any ‘named’ storms during July; quiet Julys for the tropics are not rare, but nor are they common - - roughly 70% of all past Julys has at least one ‘named’ storm.
Why the lack of activity given the existence of tropical waves?  At least some tropical weather experts are putting some of the blame on dust floating in the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere -- dust that originates from the Sahara Desert.  The dust limits solar heating and helps “dry” the air, inhibiting the development of thunderstorms within the tropical waves ... which means: so far, so good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Staying Hot, Mainly Dry

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As we expected, today (Tuesday) was a mainly-dry day across the WAFB viewing area, and that looks to be the story for the next couple of days as well.

Surface high pressure continues to expand westward from the Atlantic (this is linked to the ‘Bermuda High’ that is often mentioned during the summer), while ridging aloft extends from the Central U.S. Plains eastward and southeastward over the lower Mississippi Valley.

If the air weren’t so juicy -- as a result of the flow off the Gulf -- we’d expect the entire area to be completely rain-free given the regional weather set-up. But anytime that you have our humid, Gulf air mass in place coupled with the daytime instability enhanced by solar heating, it doesn’t take much to get at least a spotty shower or two going by the afternoon. That was the case today and will be the situation through the rest of the week.

Our Wednesday forecast calls for a 20% chance, if not less, for rain in your neighborhood and we keep those rain chances at 20% for Thursday. The upper-ridging may weaken just a tad as we get closer to the weekend, so we’ll ease rain chances to about 30% for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The reduced rain chances in the coming days mean that those that don’t get an afternoon shower are likely to see highs reaching into the mid 90°s, just like we saw at Metro Airport today. Yet with the southerly flow persisting through the work week and into the weekend, morning lows will remain in the mid 70°s for metro Baton Rouge.

And in the tropics? Nothing of real significance going on, although the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is keeping an eye on an area in the west-central Atlantic. The NHC is giving this area of disturbed weather about a 4-in-10 chance of becoming a tropical cyclone (a depression) in the next 24 to 48 hours, but the storm cluster is headed NE towards cooler waters. It offers no threat to land, and even if it were to become a tropical low, it is unlikely that it would survive long given the water temperatures and increasing shear it will encounter.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Drier, A Bit Hotter This Week

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Many of us finally saw a break from the persistent rains on Sunday, with coverage being notably lower than during most of the previous week.  Our Monday afternoon forecast update for the coming 5 to 7 days keeps us on a “drier” path, with only 20% to 30% rain chances posted for each day through the coming weekend.

At the surface, the Atlantic High (more commonly referred to as the “Bermuda High” when it is impacting the Gulf Coast region) will be a major influence as it extends across the eastern half of the Gulf.  Coastal Louisiana and Mississippi will come under the influence of the circulation around its western extent, which means a steady flow from Gulf to land, keeping low-level moisture in place.

Such a set-up (we often refer to this inflow from the Gulf as “return flow”) would normally mean better afternoon rain chances in the summer, given the daytime heating to provide lift to the low-level Gulf moisture.  But working against the “return flow” set-up will be mid/upper-level ridging -- centered over the U.S. Plains and extending southeastward and over the Bayou State.

So plan on more “dry” days than “wet” ones this week, with partly cloudy afternoons and highs climbing into the low to mid 90°s each day.  With the low-level moisture remaining in place through the week, we can expect dew point temps routinely running in the mid 70°s, a reflection of our anticipated morning minimums.

It remains relatively quiet across the tropical Atlantic for the time being.  A broad area of low pressure currently extends from the NE Gulf across the Florida Peninsula, but that area is expected to move north and inland before it has any opportunity to develop into something more threatening.  We also see several tropical waves tracking west-to-east across the basin, including a healthy looking complex about to enter the extreme eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa.  But there is nothing unusual about that at this time of year, and for the time being, none of these waves appears likely to develop any time soon.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Scattered Afternoon T-Storms

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As of 3:00 PM, we haven’t seen the coverage of rains that we had anticipated yesterday (we were calling for 30% to 40% coverage for this afternoon), but we expect showers and storms to continue to pop-up through the remainder of the afternoon and into the early evening.
Storms at this point are a bit more numerous to the east and south of Baton Rouge, fueled in part by the mid/upper-level low spinning well to our east.  In fact, the weather is very active over southern Mississippi due to its closer proximity to that upper low.

As we’ve mentioned the past couple of days, that upper low is still easing its way to the west, and as it does our rain chances will increase.  At the same time, the low has become a little less “organized” and continues to weaken.  However, we think that enough of the mid-level system will remain intact to slowly increase rain chances for WAFB’s communities over the next couple of days.
As is common during the summer, we’ve got plenty of moisture in the air from the surface into the mid-levels and that will continue through the week.  At the same time, daytime heating through the first half of the day will help de-stabilize the atmosphere and get things rising in the morning with cumulus clouds building well before noon.
For now, we’ll go with a 30% to 40% rain chance for Thursday, with a 40% rain chance for Friday.  Rain chances increase again into the weekend: a 50% to 60% chance of showers and t-storms for your neighborhood on Saturday with a 50-50 rain chance returning for Sunday.

Heading into the early and middle part of next week, we ease back the afternoon rain probabilities to something more isolated to scattered (roughly 30%); not “dry” area-wide, but notably less coverage than what we’re expecting for the weekend.
In the tropics?  After that unusual start with two May ‘named’ storms (Alberto and Beryl), a surprise Hurricane Chris developing north of 40°N latitude, and a ‘misbehaving’ Debby meandering over the northern Gulf, we’ve had a “quiet” past three weeks in the Atlantic Basin.  And the outlook over the next several days looks good, with nothing in the offing any time soon!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Rain Chances on the Rise

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Our forecasted run of “drier” weather looks like it might be ending a little more quickly that we thought yesterday, when we called for very limited rain chances for today and Wednesday. Although today’s rains were very limited (as expected), the guidance for Wednesday has become a bit “wetter.” We’re now going with scattered showers and storms for Wednesday (a 30% to 40% rain chance for your neighborhood) instead of the isolated rains we anticipated yesterday.

But the remainder of the forecast through the rest of the work week and the weekend remains essentially unchanged at this point. Look for scattered, mainly-afternoon showers and storms for Thursday and Friday (40% probabilities for both days), with 50% to 60% rain chances posted for Saturday and Sunday. Rain coverage should slacken a tad early next week.

On the national scale, heat-related warnings, watches and advisories are posted over much of the nation’s northeastern quadrant today, with highs approaching 100° or more from the mid-Mississippi Valley into the Ohio Valley. 

Closer to home, we continue to watch the mid/upper low spinning to our east. Yesterday the system was located just off the Georgia/Florida Atlantic Coast, but as we mentioned, it has worked its way to the west. As of today, the low is centered along the Georgia/Florida state line and continues to move west. The thinking at this time is that the system will weaken and essentially dissipate before it comes as far west as Louisiana, but it is still worth a watch. In any case, there is no concern for this to change into something more “tropical.”

And in the tropics? All remains rather quiet across the Atlantic Basin.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

More Rain in the Coming Days

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

For the third day in a row, the biggest rains of the day arrived in metro Baton Rouge arrived by or before noon, helping to “settle down” the atmosphere and keeping the afternoon relatively quiet weatherwise for the Capital City.

Today’s main rains were the result of a long-lasting outflow boundary that began in southeast Texas (around Houston in the pre-dawn hours) and then marched east at about 20 mph through the morning and afternoon. Although the boundary has weakened throughout the day as it continued east, evidence of it is still very apparent on Titan9 Doppler at 4PM, extending southward from eastern Mississippi into the northern Gulf.

With the line of storms “stabilizing” the atmosphere earlier in the day, most of us will remain rain-free through the evening and into the overnight. But as we’ve seen each of the past few days, a “quiet” evening and overnight will allow the very-moist air over southern Louisiana to begin to “de-stabilize” once again by Thursday morning. Look for isolated to scattered showers to return for the morning commute.
Although the pronounced upper-level “closed” low that has prompted our recent run of “wet” weather over the past several days has lost much of its structure, an upper trough (a “weakness”) still lingers over the central Gulf Coast and lower Mississippi Valley. That trough looks to stay around for at least another two or three days, keeping our weather unsettled right into - - and possibly through - - the coming weekend.

Rain in the form of showers and a few t-storms is likely for Thursday, with the clouds and rain keeping highs in the 80°s once again. For now, we’re going with a 50-50 rain chance for Friday, but that may still be on the low side. Even the weekend is currently posted with a 50% rain chance for both days, so keep the umbrella within reach.

The upper trough should start to relax by Saturday, allowing for a bit more sunshine and a return of highs at or even just above 90° for the weekend. At this point, the guidance suggests that we should expect more typical summer days for next week, with lows in the 70°s, highs in the low 90°s, and scattered, mainly-afternoon rains.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Soggy Weather Continues

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The morning rains were more widespread and more active than Jay had expected, and that dealt a real blow to the forecast for the entire day.  Not only was it a “wetter” morning commute than Jay expected, but those morning rains also helped stabilize the atmosphere a bit through much of the day, keeping rains on the light side through the late morning and afternoon.
Even where it wasn’t raining at mid-day, the persistent cloud deck blocked the sun and held temps in check: many WAFB neighborhoods stayed in the 70°s for most or all of the afternoon -- an appreciated change from the blistering heat during a good bit of the previous four to six weeks!
Although it looks like the mid/upper-level low responsible for some of the storminess over the past few days is “filling” a bit (losing its influence on the regional weather), guidance continues to suggest a mid/upper trough will influence our weather for  the next several days, at least.  Given that set-up, we’re keeping fairly good rain chances in the forecast for the coming days.  But unlike today, we think that the main focus for the timing of rains through the latter half of the work week and into the weekend will be towards the afternoon -- something a bit more typical for the summer season.
That’s not to say that the overnights and early mornings will be completely dry.  We’re keeping isolated rains in the overnight and early morning forecasts for both tonight into early Wednesday and again the following overnight and early AM period.  Early morning rains will tend to be closer to the coast, but isolated showers for the metro area morning commute certainly can’t be ruled out.
Set those afternoon and early evening rain chances at 40% to 50% for each day through the work week and the weekend.  Morning lows will be in the 70°s (low to mid 70°s for metro Baton Rouge), with highs in the upper 80°s to low 90°s for most WAFB communities, depending on when the local rains begin.
While many of you have had enough of this run of wet weather, the lawns, gardens, and landscape are certainly enjoying it.  We had been getting a bit dry, and these last few days are not only helping to take any drought threat out of the local picture, but providing a decent amount of deeper-soil water recharge for the longer range.
All remains quiet in the tropical Atlantic, and that’s the way we like it!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Wetter Pattern Persists This Week

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As of 3PM, we hadn’t seen anything close to the rain coverage over the WAFB viewing area that was expected for today (Monday), even though a few showers and t-storms started popping in the greater Baton Rouge metro area. By 4PM it was clear that most of us would miss out on rain today and that the evening commute would be a mainly-dry one for most. And after the excessive downpours and lightning-charged t-storms that moved through portions of the Baton Rouge metro area on Sunday, I doubt anyone minds.

Thankfully, the persistent upper-level ridge that baked not just Louisiana -- but much of the nation -- over the past many weeks has finally relented, contracted and shifted to the west, taking the cap off of our atmosphere. With that high-pressure “lid” removed, our warm-and-moist Gulf air will be allowed to do its normal summer season rain “magic” throughout the week and into the weekend. If you’re going to be out and about, especially in the afternoons, make sure that your umbrella goes along for the trip.

We will keep rain chances at or above July norms through the coming seven days, with probabilities posted at 40% to 50% right through the work week, the weekend and early next week. Morning lows will remain in the low to mid 70°s, with afternoon highs in the upper 80°s to low 90°s. The highs will be dependent on where -- and how early -- the first clouds and showers develop each day.

With the afternoon and early evening storms “working over” the atmosphere (stabilizing the atmosphere), rains should die down by or soon after sunset each day for just about everyone, Most morning drives will be muggy but dry for inland sites, although we could see showers in the early morning hours along the coast just about every day.

And the tropics? Things have certainly picked up in the eastern Pacific, with hurricanes Daniel and Emilia going strong, but the Atlantic remains rather quiet, with not so much as an “area of interest” to watch according to the National Hurricane Center. And no one should be complaining about that!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Hot, Isolated Storms for the 4th

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

It was back into the mid 90°s once again for many WAFB neighborhoods on Tuesday afternoon.  For Baton Rouge’s Metro Airport, that makes 10 of the past 11 days with highs of 95° or above -- maybe not a record, but it’s still tough to handle.  And for many neighborhoods, the run of heat has been accompanied by a substantial dry spell ... more and more folks are turning on the sprinklers!
Some neighborhoods got a decent rain on Tuesday afternoon, but in general, there was less coverage and most of the t-storms that did develop were not as intense as some seen on Monday.  Our thinking for Wednesday -- Independence Day -- is to plan essentially for a repeat of today, with spotty to isolated afternoon showers, including a couple of rumbles of thunder for a few neighborhoods.  But as was true for Tuesday, limited coverage of rains on Wednesday means only a few get a cooling, needed shower.  And most of us will see a return of mid 90°s for Wednesday afternoon, with peak Heat Index values up around 105°, reaching the “Dangerous” category for prolonged exposure!

Whatever rains do develop on Wednesday should be well out of the way by the evening’s fireworks festivities.  Temps in the 8-9PM window will still be in the 80°s just about everywhere, so be prepared for a warm evening.
Yesterday we mentioned that the upper-level ridge that has been largely responsible for the recent heat wave was expected to weaken and shift a bit to the west in the coming days, and it still looks like that will be the case.  By Thursday, we should see a slight uptick in rain chances that will persist into the weekend, with even better rain chances by Sunday.  By the weekend, our daily weather should be something a little bit more like “normal” for July: highs in the low 90°s with 30% to 40% rain chances each day.  Even then, however, we’re keeping the early morning minimums in the mid 70°s, slightly above July long-term norms.
Nothing significant to discuss in the tropics.
Here’s hoping that you get to enjoy a little Independence Day rest and relaxation, even if it’s going to be another sweltering day!

Monday, July 2, 2012

No Quick End to the mid 90°s!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Many neighborhoods just can’t seem to get around those mid 90°s for afternoon highs as regional surface high pressure combines with upper-level ridging to keep temps running above the norm, even for July!  And to add to the discomfort, the low-level humidity returned over the weekend and will remain with us through the work week, adding to the heat stress.

We did get some showers and t-storms rumbling in SW Mississippi and the Florida Parishes during the afternoon, as well as a few showers over the coastal parishes.  A handful of Weather Watchers and locations received more than one-half-inch of rain this afternoon, but it looks like most of us missed out.  Not only has it been warmer-than-normal, but it appears as though many of us are slipping back towards drought-like conditions.

Monday’s afternoon storms turned out to be rather “active” for a few communities, with frequent cloud-to-ground lightning, some gusty winds and even small hail.  But these rains will die down as we lose the daytime heating, and we’ll go to mostly fair skies overnight.

For now, we’re thinking isolated showers at best for the next three days, with rain chances posted at less than 20% for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Meanwhile, the heat lingers with morning lows in the mid 70°s for metro Baton Rouge and highs returning to the mid 90°s through Thursday.

By the way ... for July 4th festivities, even if we get some afternoon rains and spotty storms, they should be long-gone by the time the evening fireworks get started!

As we head towards Friday and the weekend, it looks like the upper-level ridge that has been so persistent over these many days might retreat a bit to the west, taking the “lid” off the atmosphere and allowing slightly better afternoon rain chances.  If this scenario develops, then we can look for rain chances in the 30% to 40% range: not widespread soakings like many of you would like, but scattered rains and more cloud cover, hopefully knocking down the afternoon heat a bit.

And in the tropics?  Nothing going on for the time being, and no complaints about that from anyone!