Friday, June 21, 2013

Staying Hot, Humid on Saturday

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

The meandering, quasi-stationary front over the Gulf States has definitely shown some staying power over the past couple of days, but it’s looking like the boundary is just about ready to fizzle out.  Without support from mid/upper-level disturbances, it simply didn’t have sufficient form to enhance lift today and generate more widespread rain.  Without these mechanisms, today’s showers were dependent upon solar heating, sea-breezes, and outflow boundaries and had to struggle against weak upper-level capping.  As a result, Friday -- the first official day of the 2013 summer -- ended up ‘hot and mainly dry’ for most WAFB neighborhoods.

We’ll keep isolated rains in the Saturday forecast as well, then increase those rains to the “scattered” category for Sunday with mainly-afternoon showers and t-storms.  And for next week?  It looks like a rather normal -- and repetitive – summertime forecast for the work week: morning lows in the low 70s and afternoon highs in the low 90s for most communities with ‘hit-or-miss’ afternoon t-showers just about every day.

With dew points generally in the low to mid 70°s, the low-level air remains on the most-side through the week, and that should mean afternoon hourly Heat Index numbers running from the mid 90°s into the triple digits through the coming seven days, at least.

Beyond that, there really isn’t much to say about our forecast.  There are no depressions or storms in the tropics to talk about; in fact, none of the current tropical waves in the Atlantic Basin appear to offer much threat of organization, at least in the short term.

So what about this “supermoon” that some are talking about for this weekend (June 22 and 23)?

The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is elliptical, which means that there are times when the moon is a bit closer to the Earth (perigee) and times when the moon is farther from the Earth (apogee) over the course of the 27.5 days that it takes for the Moon to complete one trip around the ‘Blue Marble.’  Modern era astronomers label the moon a “supermoon” when (1) it is in perigee and (2) also is a “full” moon.  In fact, this weekend’s “supermoon” is labeled by some as an “extreme supermoon” because the moon will be closer to the Earth during this weekend’s perigee than it will be during any other perigee this year!

So how big will the moon appear?  Well, not as big as some of the social media chatter may suggest.  The moon will only appear roughly 10% to 12% larger than normal -- only regular moon watchers will really notice the difference.  But the good news is that we should have good back-to-back viewing nights for watching the “Rose Supermoon” (June full moons are called “rose” or “flower” moons by some).

So we’ll close out today’s discussion with a reminder to take care of yourself, your family and the pets in the weekend heat!

No comments:

Post a Comment