For all those who have endured the grueling summer heat, the news that significant relief is heading our way is music to the ears. Only one more day of sweltering heat stands between us and a stretch of absolutely gorgeous weather! Football players and fans alike will be sweating it out through Saturday, but a strong cold front is poised to sweep through the region late Saturday night into Sunday morning. Once that happens, temperatures will struggle to reach the 80s for highs with a gusty northerly wind. Overnight lows will dip into the 50s. Beyond that, high pressure takes firm control of Oklahoma, keeping the familiar "heat dome" at bay. I jokingly tell people they'll want to find their jackets after the kind of temperatures we've become accustomed to!
We'll watch out for a few showers and storms Saturday night into Sunday morning, but little relief from the drought will be had. We have Tropical Storm Lee to partially blame for that. Lee formed Friday afternoon and is essentially blocking significant moisture return from the Gulf of Mexico. For those along the Gulf Coast, however, a major flooding event will be a threat during their Labor Day weekend. Lee may or may not reach hurricane strength, but it will be sitting off-shore for a couple days, allowing for strengthening through Sunday. 10-15 inches of rain will likely fall across southern Louisiana. If you're heading down to the Gulf Coast this weekend, plan to bring all your rain gear and find indoor plans!
Tropical Storm Lee will eventually push inland to the east of us, and leave the drought-stricken Southern Plains high and dry. Lee's track can be seen in the map above. It's definitely an all-or-nothing scenario. In this case, the "nothing" scenario may be better. Louisiana will take a pretty big hit from the meandering tropical system.
And, yes, Hurricane Katia is still spinning slowly westward across the open Atlantic Ocean. That won't be a concern for the United States for at least a week.
In the meantime, enjoy the unofficial end to summer and let's welcome in this taste of fall!