Highs returned to the low to mid 90°s as expected this afternoon with the Heat Index climbing above 100° before 1 PM. We’ll admit to being a little gun-shy after Monday evening’s surprise storms, but we’ll go with isolated showers and a couple of rumbles of thunder later in the day, with any rain that does develop out of the way by or soon after sunset. Look for partly cloudy skies through much of the night and into the morning, with Wednesday sunrise temps in the low to mid 70°s.
We’re calling for a 30% to 40% rain chances for both Wednesday and Thursday afternoons -- typical numbers for August given the heat and humidity. Set rain chances on Friday at about 40% as well. Look for highs in the low to mid 90°s on Wednesday, and low 90°s for both Thursday and Friday.
Keep highs in the low 90°s and ease back the rain chances slightly for the weekend, with a 30% rain chance on Saturday and only a 20% chance on Sunday as slightly drier air works its way into the lower Mississippi Valley.
As of 1 PM, Ernesto has been upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane -- the season’s second hurricane. The current forecast still calls for Ernesto to landfall over the Yucatan tonight and then head west into the Bay of Campeche. While it does appear from recent satellite imagery that Ernesto has eased a little north of his forecasted track, the shift is not sufficient to become a worry for the U.S. -- after entering the SW Gulf Ernesto is still expected to stay on a mainly west course and make a second landfall along the Mexico Coast between Veracruz and Tampico.
Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic, remnants of Florence are still evident but are given virtually no chance for re-generation any time soon. The other feature of interest is “92L,” a fairly substantial tropical wave in the eastern tropical Atlantic. Although current conditions are deemed as only marginally favorable, it does appear that the environment could become a bit more conducive for development a few days down the road. However, given its present location, there is no reason at this point to be alarmed.