Wednesday, August 21, 2019

A pattern shift is coming - goodbye heat! (Hello rain!?)

I haven't had near as much response to a social media post of late as I did a couple days ago announcing that the hot spell to start this week could well be the last with Heat Advisories included for the rest of 2019! Some of y'all are ready for fall!

No more heat (advisories)!

As I type this, that Heat Advisory is about to expire and I still feel the same way I did a couple days ago. Heat abates a bit to end the week as highs slip back towards 90, then into the 80s throughout the weekend and into next week. One thing that will not go away quite yet though is the humidity. As a wetter pattern sets up, dewpoints will remain in the 70s, so it'll be muggy, but just not as hot.

About those rain chances... 

As high pressure releases its grip on the region, the tail end of a trough of low pressure aloft brushes the area to end the week, dragging a cold front into the region.  That will set off scattered showers and thunderstorms starting Thursday and continuing into the weekend, as what will likely be multiple rounds of rainfall develop. The good news is that, while localized deluges could occur, we're not looking at widespread washout-style rains. In fact, total rainfall generalized across the region should be in the 1" range, more in spots that get multiple storms. Severe weather is not a big threat, although a few storms ahead of the front on Thursday could bring locally gusty wind and lightning.

A Marginal Risk (level 1/5) of severe weather exists along and north of the I-40 corridor on Thursday as a few storms could get frisky and drop some strong wind gusts. (SPC)

As we head into the weekend, low pressure aloft develops to our west and shifts into the Mid-South. This will keep rain chances pretty high this weekend and early next week. It's likely that much of this rainfall could be diurnally-driven, meaning it is most prevalent during the warmer parts of the day. Fortunately, "warmer parts" can be defined as mid to upper 80s during that period of time! Mild overnight lows continue as dewpoints remain sticky.

For the upcoming week (through next Wednesday night), rainfall totals look to average about 2" across the region. Some places will see more depending on where storms set up that drop locally heavier rain. (NOAA/WPC via PivotalWx)

First fall front on the horizon?

While we should see a general decrease in precipitation chances (but not to zero) around Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, a fairly substantial push of fall air drops south into the Midwest and Ohio Valley by mid-week. This will help push a cold front through by about Thursday of next week. Extended range temperatures reflect a high likelihood of below average temperatures to end next week and continue into early September. Taken altogether, you see where I get my confidence in the likely end of mid-summer-like temperatures!

Let's now cross our fingers that that front is well to our south by the end of next week, setting the stage for a fabulous night for football as your local Friday Night Lights shine bright, and Saturday at the Liberty Bowl as the Tigers kick off the season at the Liberty Bowl! I sense the start of football season weather!

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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