Sunday, August 1, 2021

A reprieve from mid-summer heat and humidity this week

The first three weeks of July featured temperatures largely below average, but the past week made up for that, reminding us just what Memphis summers typically feel like! The daily temperatures for the past eight days averaged nearly 4 degrees above normal with high temperatures consistently in the mid 90s and feels like temperatures reaching heat advisory criteria (105°+) on multiple days - a few even topping 110°! So what does the next week hold? A nice break from the heat!

Overall pattern

The upper level atmospheric weather pattern over the past week featured a large ridge of high pressure that built over the region, resulting in those above average temperatures. However, with the passage of last night's surface cold front, the upper level pattern also shifts. A trough of low pressure over the northeastern quarter of the nation dips south, then into the week lingers over the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys before finally weakening and lifting out by the end of the week. 

Lower pressure aloft typically means cooler temperatures at the surface. Coupled with the passage of a series of upper level disturbances rotating through the upper level trough that result in periods of cloud cover, temperatures will be well below average for much of the upcoming week. 

The European model ensemble of upper level height anomalies for the coming week. In short, lower than average pressure aloft is shown in blue and higher than average is in yellow. The blue colors that move over the Mid-South  mean low pressure aloft, which translates to cooler than average temperatures. (WxBell)

Early-week cool temps

In the wake of Sunday's cold front and arrival of the upper level trough, we'll see a fair amount of cloud cover Sunday night into Monday, then partly cloudy skies on Tuesday. A north to northeast wind, dry conditions, and dewpoints falling into the low to mid 60s will set the stage for very pleasant conditions for early August with highs in the mid 80s and lows dropping to around 70 Monday morning and the mid 60s Tuesday morning.

Mid-week persistence

We'll see more sunshine on Wednesday with just partly cloudy skies as highs remain in the mid 80s. Morning lows start in the mid 60s in the city but could drop a few degrees cooler in outlying areas. A bit of warming occurs Thursday with highs in the upper 80s, but with humidity still remaining below average, there still won't be much to complain about!

More warming into the weekend

By the end of the week, temperatures start to climb further as the upper level trough pulls out and higher pressure aloft results in warmer temps below. A passing upper disturbance could mean a few showers Friday, but that is still too far out for anything conclusive. Highs will be at or just above 90. Sunshine returns Saturday with highs back near average in the low 90s and lows returning to the low 70s. Sunday into the following week (as schools return for many students) could be back above normal with highs in the mid 90s, so enjoy this coming week while we have it!

Forecast temperatures for the next 10 days from the NWS model blend. (WeatherModels)

Erik Proseus
MWN Meteorologist

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