The map on the right is what we refer to as a QPF(Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) and this particular map is valid through this coming Thursday morning. Obviously, our state will be pretty much high and dry through that period with a ring of precipitation from the Rockies across the northern Plains, east of the Mississippi River, and along the Gulf Coast. That ring of precipitation generally marks the edge of the ridge aloft that is sitting on top of us. The air under that ridge is very warm and dry aloft and generally subsiding, that is with a general downward motion. That suppresses cloud development and obviously keeps any shower/storm development to a minimum. Around the outside edges of the ridge, there will be some upward vertical motion which means more clouds and showers/storms.
We do expect some weaknesses to be developing in the upper level ridge, enough to allow for a least some clouds as the week wears on. Also, that should allow for the more terrain favored locations to have at least a minimal chance of an isolated shower or storm, but those will be few and far between. Thus, no widespread relief from the intensifying drought situation across our state.
The heat wave will also continue with much above normal temperatures, although they should moderate somewhat as the week wears on. We will be well above 100 this afternoon and again Sunday afternoon, but gradually trending closer to 100 over the course of the coming week. That is the expected result of the ridge aloft weakening somewhat and also our surface winds returning to a more southerly direction. The NE winds yesterday and an E to NE wind for today has brought very dry air over us with dew points at times in the 50s. A more SE wind will return for Sunday and a brisk southerly wind for the coming week. That will bring our dew points back into the 60s which means somewhat higher humidity levels and at least a few clouds in the sky as opposed to what should be severe clear today.
Relative humidity levels will be dropping into the 20-30% range during the heat of the day today, closer to 30% on Sunday, and somewhat higher throughout the coming week. For today and Sunday, the humidity will not be high enough to contribute to the discomfort level. During the coming week, the slightly higher humidity levels will make it somewhat more uncomfortable outside. However, we should also have a fairly brisk southerly wind each day which will provide at least a bit of a cooling breeze.
Anyway you look at it, it is too hot and too dry and except for an isolated storm or two, no relief is in sight anytime soon.
On a personal note, thanks for the prayers and kind thoughts this past week while at Kids Camp at Camp Tulakogee. Despite the heat, we had no health issues and all the kids in the fishing class caught some fish.
So, stay tuned, stay cool, and check back for updates.