Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gradually Heating Up This Week

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

As promised, we got off to a pleasant start this morning – by August standards, at least – with lows ranging from the mid to upper 60°s around much of the area. But in somewhat of a surprise, we got an added bonus this afternoon as many WAFB neighborhoods failed to reach the 90° mark. That, combined with below-normal humidity, made for a pretty decent day given the time of year.

Radar has been rain-free around the viewing area today and that trend will likely continue for the better part of the workweek. An upper-level ridge of high pressure centered over the Plains and Midwest is building south, helping to put a ‘lid’ on the atmosphere and our rain chances locally. That building ridge will also translate into increasing heat through the remainder of the week, with highs potentially reaching the mid 90°s by Thursday and Friday. Humidity levels will also be on the rise late this week, meaning we’ll have the full summer ‘feel’ back by the weekend.

Speaking of the weekend, it will be an extended one for many, with Labor Day around the corner on Monday. High pressure should lessen its grip enough to allow for isolated showers and t-storms on Saturday and Sunday, but we’ll keep rain chances at 20% or less. The early outlook for Labor Day points toward scattered showers and t-storms (rain chances 30% to 40%) and highs in the lower 90°s.

We’re monitoring a couple of features in the tropics this afternoon, but nothing of immediate concern to us. A well-defined upper low is producing showers and t-storms near south Florida. Upper lows by nature are non-tropical in origin, so we’re not terribly concerned with development. The transition to a tropical system can happen on occasion, but for now, it’s just a feature to keep an eye on in the coming days.

The greatest potential for tropical development in the next few days is with an area of disturbed weather in the central Atlantic. This system appears to be a bit better organized this afternoon and has some potential to become a tropical depression or storm late this week into the weekend. It’s still way out there though, so we’ve got plenty of time to monitor its progress.

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