Friday, May 17, 2013

Feeling Like Summer This Weekend!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As expected, you could feel that added humidity today: as a warning, it will feel even warmer over the coming weekend.

The good news is that the weekend should stay dry; the not-so-good news is that we’ll get a real “summertime feel” during the afternoons on both Saturday and Sunday. But then, we are into the latter half of the month of May -- it’s supposed to start getting that warm-and-muggy feel to the air.

The truth is, we’ve been spoiled so far this month. Daily temperatures have been below-normal for each of the past 14 days. We may have ended that trend today ... and our forecast through the weekend and all of next week calls for morning starts close to 70° and afternoon highs in the upper 80°s to near 90° -- numbers that are generally 1° to 2° above late May normals. In fact, don’t be surprised to see some WAFB neighborhoods hit 90° over the coming days.

Remember, as we head into summer, morning minimums are a rough “proxy” for the dew point temps, the measure of moisture (water vapor) in the air. Higher dew points mean higher humidity. With dew points in the mid to upper 60°s and afternoon temps climbing into the upper 80°s, we could see peak Heat Index numbers in the afternoons rising above 90°.

You’ll also note that our forecast is “mainly dry” over the next 5 to 7 days – just about rain-free over the weekend and only spotty-to-isolated rain chances in the forecast for next week.

Even the mid- and upper-levels of the atmosphere are hinting at a more summer-like structure. The nation’s active weather will remain to our north and northwest over the weekend and our computer guidance is showing the jet stream and its associated ridges and troughs staying to our north over the coming days. This northward contraction of the mid-latitude west-to-east flow in the atmosphere means that fronts and low-pressure systems are less likely to reach the Gulf Coast -- another summer weather-pattern signal.

So get ready for a very warm weekend. Just grab the sunscreen and the water bottle and enjoy!

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