The super great weather will continue for the next 5 to 6 days with a gradual warming trend in the forecast by early next week. Expect afternoon highs today in the upper 70s to lower 80s. A few more clouds will be possible today compared to yesterday afternoon.
The upper air flow is keeping the main upper level ridge to our southwest. The surface air flow is dominated by a ridge of high pressure currently centered over the Midwestern portion of the nation. This is circulating cool and dry air southward through the southern plains. The low level moisture has effectively been pushed into the southern portion of the Gulf of Mexico. Until this low level moisture field returns, our precipitation chances will remain near zero. A weak upper level wave is moving across the western half of the state today and will produce more clouds compared to the previous few days, but the atmosphere will remain too dry to support precipitation.
The extended data is still suggesting a retrograding area of low pressure moving into the Tennessee or Missouri valley by this weekend. If this occurs, a few spotty and brief showers or sprinkles would be possible across extreme NE OK and SW Missouri. This scenario remains very low and no precipitation will be included in the weekend forecast.
The EURO continues to offer a gradual warming trend by early next week with morning lows in the mid 60s and afternoon highs supporting some lower or mid 90s. I'll make no major changes to this portion of the extended but may tweak a few numbers based on the latest guidance available this morning.
GFS and EURO differ greatly next week regarding the arrival of a front. There also are major differences regarding a possible tropical system that may develop in the southern Gulf of Mexico. I'll not go into all the different scenarios this morning, but the GFS would support a healthy boundary Wednesday morning while the EURO would keep the front to the north.
We are tracking several interesting tropical features including Hurricane Katia, and tropical depression 17, soon to be Tropical Storm Maria. Another wave is attempting to become organized in the extreme southern section of the Gulf of Mexico closer to the northern Mexican coastline.
Katia does not appear to be a major player for the east coast but will provide dangerous rip tides and high surf along the coastal regions this weekend. Maria will be in a favorable trajectory to impact the Leeward Islands and possibly Puerto Rico by 120 hours. The dynamic guidance does not rapidly develop this system, but the GFDL and HRF bring Maria to a minimal hurricane status at the end of the forecast cycle while bringing the system close to the Bahamas by Monday.
The southern system attempting to develop in the southern Gulf of Mexico is a wild card. There remain some differences in future strength and positions in relation to the computer model data. EURO would bring the system into the Southern Louisiana area during the next 3 to 5 days. Stay tuned.