50 minutes. When it happens only a minute or two per day it sort of creeps up on you, but that is the reduction in available sunlight since the summer equinox through today. Also, we are now over the hump so to speak with regard to the ‘normal' maximum temperatures as the normal daytime highs are now down to 94 from the 95 that was normal at the end of July. So, with less available sunlight and a climatological downward trend in temperatures, we should not have to worry about extreme heat anymore…..right? Not so fast; the weather pattern we are in suggests at least one more day that will be a real scorcher before some relief begins to gradually arrive during the coming week.
And, that scorcher looks to be on Monday. The spotty showers and storms of the last few days have not done much except provide some very localized relief to the heat and dryness. Thus, the rain footprint from them is not expected to be a factor. Also, a frontal boundary will be approaching later in the day and should be moving across this part of the state later Monday night and early Tuesday morning. In advance of this boundary, our surface winds should be from the SW and will be on the order of 10-20 mph with some higher gusts. Also, the higher dew point temperatures left over from what rain has fallen will mix out with this SW wind component and dew point temperatures should be in the 50s by Monday afternoon. Abundant sunshine, SW winds, a relative humidity dropping into the teens all adds up to not only a scorching hot day with temperatures on the order of 110 again, but also an extremely dangerous fire weather situation.
But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in that the front should bring with it about a 30% chance of showers and storms for Monday night into Tue morning. As has been the case the last few days, damaging down burst winds will be possible with the heavier storms. Also, the more N to NE wind on Tuesday will bring not necessarily cooler air, but at least air that is not as hot and daytime temperatures should be near triple digits.
Wednesday will likely see the front trying to move back north and a more E to SE wind. More cloud cover and a chance of showers and storms during the day should also keep temperatures below triple digits for the first time this month….but, it will be close. Triple digit heat will likely persist not too far to our S and SW.
A return to southerly winds and triple digit heat is expected for Thu and Fri along with slight chances of showers or storms both days.
The longer range guidance so far is maintaining enough consistency to give me a little more confidence in another, stronger front arriving this coming Saturday. The wind pattern aloft is shifting the dominant upper level ridge drift further westward by then putting us into a more favorable NW flow pattern. This allows for somewhat cooler air to begin coming our way and also chances of showers or storms. Don't bet the farm on that just yet, but it does look promising.
In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.