Monday, August 5, 2013

Little Relief from the Heat!

By Jay Grymes & Steve Caparotta

Mid-90°s have been the rule for many WAFB neighborhoods over the past few days and our forecast doesn’t offer much relief any time soon.  We’re going with highs in the mid-90°s for the ‘Red Stick’ for the next three days.  Afternoon temps in the 90°s will combine with dew points in the 70°s, generating Heat Index readings in the triple digits for several hours for each of the next three days.  And the mornings won’t be all that pleasant either -- plan on the “morning muggies” with mid to upper 70°s for those sunrise starts each day this week

Based on the current guidance, we’ll go with 20% rain chances for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Now remember, what that means is that there is roughly a 1-in-5 chance that you’ll see measureable rain in your backyard -- in fact, it implies a 1-in-5 chance for rain at any location in our viewing area.  But most locations will remain dry.

But that percentage does not tell us is “how much?”  If you happen to get under the center of one of our traditional summer storms, you might really question our 20% forecast -- one of those afternoon ‘slow movers’ can light up the sky with lightning and dump an inch or more of rain in a short amount of time.  But more often than not, these storms are relatively limited in coverage, so while you’re seeing a deluge, there may be no rain at all just a couple of miles away.

The strong upper-level ridge that‘s been driving our hot weather recently looks like it will relax a bit and slowly ease to the west over the next couple of days.  While this won’t produce a big change in the afternoon temps for most of us, it will allow for a slight increase in rain chances by the latter part of the work week.

Then again, with this kind of heat, an afternoon storm is the easiest way to cool off!

We’ll go with rain chances at 30% for Thursday and then 40% for Friday.  The added cloud cover and increased rain chances should mean a little relief from the mid-90°s by Friday. 

At this point, we’re getting some mixed signals about the outlook for the coming weekend.  For now, we’ll go with scattered afternoon rains for both Saturday and Sunday. But there are some indications that the upper-air ridge may begin to re-expand eastward by the weekend, which would tend to reduce rain chances and deliver another round of mid-90°s.  We’ll watch the model guidance closely over the coming days to see if the weekend outlook gets a little clearer.

Elsewhere, there are no Atlantic Basin tropical waves displaying a threat for development at this time.

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