Another hot afternoon is expected with highs nearing 104 to 106. A cold front will arrive Sunday bringing a slight chance of storms followed by a noticeably cooler air mass.
I missed the temperature forecast by 3 degrees yesterday! The previous 3 days I had been one degree too high, and decided to undercut my temps by a degree to " catch up". This was a mistake. The NAM raw data had supported at least 105 for Wednesday, and if you'll recall, Monday of this week we did have a 106 on the board for Wednesday. We should have kept it! The southwest winds did arrive yesterday afternoon along with low relative humidity and the fire danger did increase to the point that Red Flag Warnings were required.
This brings up a big issue for today: how high should we go with the afternoon numbers? The RAW NAM numbers have been fairly good most of the summer while the mos files have been clueless. The rule of persistence has been the case and I'll more than likely choose a number around 104 to 105.
The fire danger will continue to be high not only today but through Saturday. We continue to have good news for Sunday and most of next week: a noticeably cooler air mass.
Data continues to be in excellent agreement regarding the frontal boundary approaching Sunday morning with a surface ridge of high pressure building down across the Midwest. This will usher in drier and cooler air. The morning lows early next week will be in the lower 60s with highs in the lower to mid 80s.
I don't think we'll have a large amount of storms along or behind the front Sunday morning, but some scattered storms should be possible. The culprit is the developing system in the gulf.
The gulf system will either be an open wave or a closed tropical storm. The closed tropical storm seems likely and this will act to suppress low level moisture flow into the state. The trajectory of the flow will be wrapped around the system which will be located south of the Texas-Louisiana coastline. The model data also suggests this storm would have the potential to strengthen quite a bit over the weekend and could be lingering in the gulf area for several days. This will be a forecasting headache.
We're also tracking another hurricane in the Atlantic. Hurricane Katia will become a major storm as it moves west to northwest. The system is too far out in the Atlantic to make any confident predictions regarding mainland U.S. interests. The sub tropical ridge is still north of the storm and this will keep a west to northwest direction for the next 5 days. The storm may take a northerly turn early next week and move on the west side of the ridge.
Our extended outlook is good for temperatures but not good for rain chances. Most of next week will be mild (compared to the summer) but dry.