Slightly drier air a tease, standard August on the way
Though slightly lower humidity is possible through Thursday morning, a stale summer pattern is locking into place. This is typical of August, heat and humidity reign while coastal communities watch the tropics—this year looks similar. Below, we have the outlook for the August 2020.
The Next 24 Hours: Tonight will be clear and seasonably mild. Low temperatures will bottom out in the low 70s and those keen to minor humidity adjustments will notice slightly drier air. Wednesday will be warm and dry with high temperatures in the low 90s. Though not impossible, rain chances are very low, and look limited to the coast.
The Long Term Trend: A weak cold front will dip as far south as I-12 before reversing course by Thursday afternoon. Any noticeable break from humidity will end about then. For the rest of the week, expect mostly sunny skies with highs in the low 90s and lows in the low 70s. High temperatures will remain consistent over the weekend, but a persistence of onshore winds will return humidity and ease low temperatures back into the mid to upper 70s. The returning humidity may be just enough for an isolated shower or thunderstorm Saturday into early next week. No days stand out as particularly active. Geographically, coastal locations may have the best chance.
August: The upper level trough that led to cool, rainy conditions over the previous two weeks is expected to flatten or even become a weak ridge over the next week. Therefore, there are no strong signals for unusual temperatures or precipitation over the next 3 – 4 weeks. The Global Tropical Outlook calls for a relative lull in activity through the third week of August. Take a breath, but do not let your guard down.
The Tropics: As of 4pm Tuesday, Tropical Storm Isaias was racing northeast at 40mph through New England with maximum winds of 65mph. The storm is expected to continue on this path into Canada tonight while weakening into a post-tropical storm. Showers associated with a trough of low pressure southwest of Bermuda continue to lose organization. Although a weak area of low pressure could form during the next day or so, abundant dry air surrounding the system is likely to limit significant development. National Hurricane Center formation chances have been dropped to 20 percent.
The Explanation: An upper level trough of low pressure will continue to slide northeast of the area through the middle of the week. On the back side of this feature, upper level winds out of the northwest will maintain a drier atmosphere. This will make convective development very difficult and therefore rain chances will stay around 10 percent and be limited to coastal areas. Additionally, a weak surface (cold?) front will pause over the Capital Area through Thursday morning. Dew point temperatures will stay in the 60s until then. This will allow nighttime lows to reach the low 70s or even upper 60s in typically cooler locations while daytime highs remain seasonably warm in the low 90s. Heat indices will be held in check by the brief spell of lower humidity. An upper level ridge will build into the Lower Midwest later this week and into next weekend. While the ridge will keep the atmosphere mostly dry, surface winds will become southerly and allow a return of humidity. The combination should result in high temperatures in the low to mid 90s with rising humidity. Since the ridge will not be centered over the region, onshore flow and marine breezes may restore isolated showers and thunderstorms Saturday into next week. Still, coastal areas will have the best shot at any rain. In addition, the limited, afternoon coverage will not cancel out the heat for most.
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