Thursday PM Forecast: record warm start to fall, still watching tropical wave
Metro Airport record high temperatures could be taken down again on Friday and Saturday. While all eyes remain on a tropical wave in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the message has not changed since Wednesday.
Next 24 Hours: Clear skies and mild temperatures are expected for the first night of astronomical fall. Low temperatures will stop around 73 degrees. Beneath sunny skies, the warm streak is expected to continue on Friday. High temperatures will top out near 95 degrees. The standing record high temperature for the date at Metro Airport (1930) is 93 degrees from 2016.
Up Next: Saturday, temperatures will remain warmer than average with highs in the low to mid 90s. A more substantial cold front will come into the area on Sunday afternoon, perhaps sparking a few showers and thunderstorms until it passes offshore on Monday morning. Once the front is through, clear skies and drier, more seasonable air is expected with highs in the mid 80s and lows in the low 60s for much of next week. The front may also play a role in steering a tropical system that ends up in the southern Gulf of Mexico next week (more below). CLICK HERE for your detailed 7-Day Forecast.
The Tropics: Satellite wind data and surface observations indicate that an area of low pressure has formed in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, though the associated shower and thunderstorm activity remains disorganized. The environment is forecast to become more conducive for development, and a tropical depression is likely to form in the next day or so. The low is forecast to move west northwestward and be over the central Caribbean Sea this weekend where conditions are expected to be conducive for additional development. A lot of guidance, that stretches beyond the scope of what would be considered reliable, does place a tropical system near the southeastern Gulf of Mexico around the middle of next week. Keep in mind that until a system has formed a closed circulation and become a depression, forecast models do no not perform well. We are still very much in the middle of hurricane season and should continue to monitor this system and remain prepared.
The outer bands of Hurricane Fiona are reaching Bermuda. With maximum sustained winds of 130mph, Fiona is set to pass just west of Bermuda while moving north at 15mph. Maximum winds will decrease slightly tonight while continuing to accelerate into the north Atlantic Ocean. Fiona will transition into a powerful non-tropical low and pummel Nova Scotia this weekend.
With maximum sustained winds of 65mph, Gaston will begin producing tropical storm conditions in The Azores Thursday night. The storm will slow its eastward motion of 15mph and drift southeast into the weekend.
Two other tropical waves in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean are being flagged for development by the National Hurricane Center. Neither poses a long-term threat to the United States.
The Explanation: An upper ridge will pinch west a bit on Friday and Saturday but still exert plenty of influence over the local area to keep high temperatures about 5-7 degrees above average in the mid 90s. An upper level trough of low pressure will begin to cut across the Great Lakes region on Sunday. This feature will squeeze the ridge further west and away from the area will allowing a cold front to push south toward the Gulf Coast. The approaching front will bring a pocket of low level moisture offering the best chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms of the entire forecast period late Sunday into Monday. The weather will be in transition as the new week begins. As the cold front moves offshore, dew point temperatures will fall signaling a drier and slightly cooler air mass.
By Tuesday morning, low temperatures will be closer to average in the mid 60s followed by high temperatures in the mid to upper 80s. These seasonable readings will continue through the middle of the week. While beyond the scope of reliable forecast information, a tropical system of some organization is expected to enter the southeast Gulf of Mexico next week. At this time, it appears the cold front and subsequent drier air mass would help to keep that system south and east of the local area. However, it is too early to make that call definitively.
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