Thursday, August 18, 2011

Another heat wave - will it be the last of the summer?

As the calendar gets into the latter half of August, many are wondering just how much summer we have left in the Mid-South.  Well, by the numbers, beginning tomorrow, the average high temperature for Memphis starts slowly falling back from it's high for the year.  Since July 5, our average daily high temperature has been 92 degrees. That average drops to 91 tomorrow and by the first of September will be falling into the 80s - a sign of cooler weather to come.

In addition, I include the 8-14 day (week 2) temperature and precipitation forecast from the Climate Prediction Center in the MWN Forecast daily. For (seemingly) forever, it has indicated above to well above normal temperatures expected in that week 2 period.  This week, we are starting to see a general trend towards slightly below normal temperatures for the period beginning next week.  That is also promising.

So what about the actual forecast?  Are there any signs that we mid 90s to 100 degree heat is truly behind us? Well, the next several days (through the weekend at least), very warm high pressure continues to control the weather pattern in the Mid-South.  The only reason we wouldn't hit the mid 90s daily through the weekend will be more days like today - where abundant cloud cover and more than minimal rain chances keep the sun from beating down on us for 10 hours-plus. With nearly full sun, the atmosphere favors mid 90s for the next several days.  Also, humidity is fairly high (not excessive, but certainly noticeable), so heat indices will be in the upper 90s to lower 100s. There will be small rain chances in the forecast through early next week, so perhaps some of those will become more definite and provide some heat relief.

Once we get into the early part of next week, the models are indicating we could see a cooler pattern begin to take shape.  The exact timing of any frontal passage that would mark the start of that pattern change is not certain, but we'll be trying to pinpoint that better in the next few days.  In the meantime, know that with September not too far away, the threat of Heat Advisories and mid 90s temperatures begins to decline and we'll be headed towards fall!  Hang in there!

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1 comment:

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