Friday, August 30, 2013

A Bit Hotter, More Humid This Weekend

We enjoyed another relatively pleasant start in the upper 60°s in many WAFB neighborhoods this morning, but it was likely our last morning in the 60°s for a while. Both temperatures and humidity will be on the way up as we head into the holiday weekend.

Saturday starts out with temps in the lower 70°s for most and afternoon highs will climb into the lower 90°s under partly cloudy skies. We can’t completely rule out a stray shower, but the vast majority of you should remain dry.

A ridge of high pressure that has kept us rain-free for several days will shift just far enough to the west to allow a few showers and t-storms to return our forecast by Sunday. However, don’t worry too much about rain if you have outdoor plans for the extended weekend. We’re only going with a 20% chance of showers and t-storms on both Sunday and Monday (Labor Day).

The extended outlook points toward somewhat better rain chances by the mid portion of next week as a cool front attempts to approach from the north. At this point, it looks like the front won’t actually move through the area, meaning warm and humid conditions will likely continue into the end of next week.

In the tropics, we continue to track a pair of systems this afternoon, but neither is of much concern to us at this point. A tropical wave about 600 miles east of the Lesser Antilles (eastern Caribbean) remains disorganized and isn’t likely to do much over the next couple of days. Farther to the east, a strong tropical wave is emerging from the west coast of Africa and shows some potential for development. However, even if it does manage to organize, it will likely remain over the open Atlantic.

Given that we currently don’t have a named tropical system, that makes it likely we’ll make it through the month of August without seeing the season’s first hurricane in the Atlantic. Historically, the average formation date for the first hurricane is August 10. Since 1960, there have only been 5 seasons that saw the first hurricane after August: 1967, 1984, 1988, 2001, and 2002. So does the lack of hurricanes so far mean the remainder of the season will stay quiet? Probably not. The 5 other seasons that got off to a relatively slow start went on to produce an average of 6 hurricanes. Louisiana was impacted by 2 hurricanes in those years – Florence in 1988 and Lili in 2002. The 1988 season also produced Gilbert, one of the most intense hurricanes ever observed in the Atlantic. Bottom line – don’t let the slow start to this hurricane season lull you to sleep!

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