How hot will it get?

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As if we haven’t already gotten enough heat this summer, which has featured just one high temp in the 80s this month and weeks of consecutive above-normal temperatures that started early in the summer, we will likely actually get HOTTER in the coming week.

The long-range global models are indicating a massive high pressure system at the surface and aloft will build over the southern plains and extend into the Mid-South this weekend into at least the first half of next week. The maps below show the ridge of high pressure as forecast by the GFS model at about 5,000 feet, 18,000 feet, and 39,000 feet on Monday evening, August 2. The GFS predicts our high Monday will easily soar over 100 degrees.

Given that multiple models are forecasting a very strong high pressure system, I am somewhat confident in this actually occurring, though exactly how hot it will get is the big question. Recent rains will help the next few days, but by early next week, if no more rain falls, the ground will be drying out again, which will not help matter any. In addition, the surface high will be just to our west, which would mean light wind with a northerly component. This would mean that humidity levels could drop off in the afternoons under intense heating. That sounds like good news, except that drier air heats up more readily. If dewpoints fall into the 60s (drier air than we have had recently), the temperature will more easily climb above 100.

We’ll have to see how this all pans out, but if I were a betting man, I would argue that we’ll be seeing our first triple digit heat of the summer sometime between Sunday and Wednesday, and there COULD be multiple days of 100+. Heat Advisories, and possibly Excessive Heat Warnings, will be posted as we get closer to the hottest days. Shelby County has already seen 8 heat-related deaths this summer. Plan now for the excessive heat – let’s not see that number rise any further.

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