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Watching out for high afternoon heat indices

3 months 2 days 18 hours ago July 20, 2016 Jul 20, 2016 Wednesday, July 20 2016 July 20, 2016 7:00 AM in Weather
Source: WBRZ Weather
By: Meteorologist Robert Gauthreaux III

No major surprise and no major changes to the forecast, slim rain chances and high heat continue to sum up the local weather.

Today and Tonight: For Wednesday, we continue on a stretch of high temperatures in the mid 90s. Partly sunny skies will be noted with only an isolated shower or thunderstorm possible. Chances will be highest in coastal areas where there is inherently a bit more moisture available to fuel convection. Overnight, look for lows in the upper 70s under mostly clear skies.    

Up Next:  Thursday and Friday will likely be the hottest two days this week. Very few pop-up showers and storms are anticipated and as a result, the area will gather more sunshine and high temperatures will make it a degree or two warmer than average. The heat and humidity combo will bring afternoon “feels-like” temperatures into the low 100s. The National Weather Service may have to issue heat advisories later this week.   


Forecast Discussion:  A well-established ridge over the Central United States will dominate the country into the weekend. This “heat ridge” will be responsible for much compressional warming and capping of the atmosphere meaning lesser shower and thunderstorm action and thus higher temperatures. With unchanging humidity and more persistent sun, the local area may expect heat indices in the low hundreds for a longer duration during the afternoon hours. Borderline advisory criteria will be met but the heat won’t be anything we haven’t already dealt with this season. As for showers and thunderstorms, any action should be fairly low topped beneath the broad ridge and likely limited to coastal areas where two processes will be underway. First these locations will be more on the periphery of the ridge, open to a few waves of energy spinning through the mean flow. Secondly, added moisture and marine breezes could help to initiate convection. The same marine breezes will attempt to blow storms inland but daily action will tend to stay south of the interstates. By the end of the weekend, models are squeezing the ridge northward  somewhat which would return the area to a more normal isolated shower and thunderstorm regime.


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