Thought a look at the updated QPF(Quantitative Precipitation Forecast) map on the right would be instructive. This particular map is valid through this coming Friday morning. As was the case yesterday, our prospects for much in the way of rainfall during this coming week are not very promising as we have only a very weak qpf signal over the state during that time frame. However, notice the heavier amounts that are anticipated in the NW Gulf of Mexico. This is due to a tropical system that may be developing later in the week but of greater importance to us is that some of that tropical moisture is expected to be coming our way beyond this time frame. In other words, the presence of abundant moisture down there by late this week places it in a favorable location for at least some of it to come our way over the coming weekend. Don't want to get your hopes up too high, but at least it still looks like we will have a decent chance of rain over the Labor Day weekend and perhaps into Labor Day itself.
As mentioned, the prospects between now and then are rather bleak. A few sprinkles have lingered into the morning hours this morning in the weak NW flow pattern aloft. Another slight chance of showers or storms is possible for Monday and Tuesday mornings, but the chances are only on the order of 20% so most of us will still be dry.
Without much in way of any cooling showers, then all of us will be hot. In fact near triple digit temperatures are expected again today and for just about every day for the rest of the week. It may not be quite as hot on Monday but that is dependent on more cloud cover and possible outflow from any morning showers or storms which is not looking very promising right now. So, the heat just goes on as this brutal summer is not going to give up easily.
However, changes are occurring which will eventually lead to a break in the pattern. As mentioned yesterday, the upper level ridge which has been so dominant will be weakening and gradually moving further eastward. It is expected to be well east of us by this coming weekend. That will allow for stronger southerly winds at the surface and aloft which will open up the possibility of at least some of that tropical moisture mentioned earlier to move over the state. Also, without that protective dome of warm, dry air aloft sitting over us, this change will open up the possibility of a stronger cool front to come our way. The timing on this next system remains questionable but the longer range guidance continues to suggest it should be arriving over the weekend, probably more into the Sunday time frame the way it appears now.
As mentioned before, don't bet the farm on that just yet as this brutal summer of 2011 has proven very resilient so far. But, we are getting later into the season and conditions appear to finally favor a change in the overall pattern.
In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.