Despite lowering humidity, more heat looms

The past few weeks have featured high humidity values and warmer than normal temperatures — with an uncomfortable airmass lingering throughout the area. Over the next few days, a bit of a break in that airmass is likely as a cold front nears the area and brings in not only some clouds, but slightly cooler air. The front won’t make much progress past our area, though, as it runs into a strong Western Atlantic Ridge. The weakening disturbance associated with the cold front will eventually become absorbed in the mid – level atmospheric flow, and the forecast models suggest that the West Atlantic ridge will win the battle.

As the front stalls and dissipates, a building ridge over the Central United States will make its way east. The end result? A brief break — but then a return to the heat. Forecast models, in fact, have hinted at the potential for temperatures at the 850mb level to approach or exceed 20 C next week, a benchmark for “Hot” weather in our area.

GFS model forecasts of height and vorticity at 500mb. Valid Thursday 7/11/2013 (left) and Monday 7/15/2013 (right).

GFS model forecasts of height and vorticity at 500mb. Valid Thursday 7/11/2013 (left) and Monday 7/15/2013 (right).

Pictured above, the GFS model shows the forecast heights and vorticity at 500mb (mid levels of the atmosphere) valid both Thursday (left) and Monday (right). The important features are highlighted, with the Western Atlantic Ridge and Central US Ridge in yellow on the left side. The vorticity (red) in our area associated with the cold front has created clouds and showers today. However, by Monday, the ridge has completely taken over the pattern and “domed” over the Central and Eastern United States.

As a result, despite the break in the heat and humidity over the next few days, it appears that next week should be highlighted by a return to heat — with temperatures approaching the mid 90’s by the middle part of the week. Stay tuned for any potential heat related watches or warnings– and prepare to stay cool!

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