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    Nothing really out of the ordinary weather-wise today through Sunday. Hazy hot and humid with potential for typical summertime hit and miss thunderstorms afternoon or early evening next three days. The coverage does not look all that great, but they will be slow movers from North to South so they can dump a lot of rain where they do form and have plenty of lightning.  But the good news is at least partial sunshine each day and more dry hours than wet even where it does rain. Many of us will be missed completely.  Remember, if you can hear thunder you are close enough to be struck by lightning even if its not raining or you don’t see any lightning.  Temperatures next three days a couple degrees either side of the normal 89 for this time of year. The Heat index will be in the low to mid 90s though the weekend, then below-normal temperatures early next week as the rain chance and cloud amount both go up. So pretty routine summer weather next few days with the chance of a “pop-up” thunderstorm, mainly sometime between 2pm and 10pm with a smaller risk before and after that time frame.  The odds at any given spot about 3/10 today, tomorrow, and Sunday. They are random hit or miss in where they pop, so no way of knowing in advance where, so just watch the sky and radar.  Showers and thunderstorms are expected to become more numerous the first half of next week as moisture levels increase while an upper-level trough of low pressure moves over the Southeastern U.S. This will also bring lower temperatures with highs in the 80s. By the end of next week the thunderstorm coverage is supposed to decrease and the temperature will subsequently increase. Have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend and thanks for reading, and for listening on 955 WSB Radio at home, in the car and anywhere you stream audio across all platforms. For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB. FRIDAY: SATURDAY: SUNDAY:
  • We have thus far escaped any real hot weather this spring and summer, with just a day or two here and there. In fact, June temperatures averaged below-normal and our first official 90 degree day came weeks late.  The next 5-10 days or so temperatures will be NORMAL or lower than normal on average with highs in the 80s but the humidity will make up for it a lot of the time.  The average or normal high temp this time of year is 89. However, there have been suggestions of a heat wave in the models for a week or two now for the longer range, and now there are other non-model  signals (such as ENSO/AAM/PMM ) that have joined to indicate that our first true heat wave of the summer is foreseeable but in the distance, starting around July 10th give or take a couple days.  There’s nothing unusual about hot weather in the summer. The question is always is it NORMAL level heat or ABOVE normal level heat and does it last longer than typical. Research shows that as heat waves go beyond 3 days heat-related deaths and illness increase especially for vulnerable groups. Warm nights and high humidity of course increase the stress on everyones bodies and increase our air-conditioning bill. To qualify as a true “heat ridge” aka subtropical high pressure area (anticyclone) at the 500mb level (about 18,000 feet) it must have a height/pressure of at least 588dm. Once readings measure at that level high temperatures at the surface will often be above 90F and typically last from many days to sometimes many weeks in a row. If the 500mb level reaches or exceed 594dm then a critical heat wave is probable with readings of 95-100 if it’s not cloudy, which it usually won’t be under that kind of strong ridge.  To date the jet stream has been too active for much heat with frequent upper-level troughs of low pressure over the Southeast part of the nation. These type patterns favor more clouds and thundershowers and more humidity preventing temperatures from soaring. For more sun and heat you need to be under an upper-level ridge of high pressure: NOTE the forecast change in the upper-level pattern prognosticated by the two primary Global NWP Models the American GFS and the European ECMWF: Both (above) show an expansive conjoined Sonoran-Sargasso Sea/Bermuda heat ridge with upper-level highs of 591 in our area and 594 or above to our West and North which is where the worst of the hot and dry weather would be centered. So the real blow torch looks to be in the Great Plains and Midwest/Great Lakes.  The trend is supported by the GWO/AAM and the PMM correlations for July: The temperature departures from normal shown above are pretty consistent with the GFS ensemble analog derived guidance: The expectation would be for a streak of 5 or more days in a row with a max temperature of 90 or higher. Analog guidance is indicating an 85% chance of air temperatures above 90 and a 74% chance of a Heat Index above 100F during the hot spell.  The operational deterministic GFS model is projecting widespread 100s across the Southeast including Georgia with a max one day of 103F in Atlanta.  I am not ready to go that far yet, I think the model is way too hot. I’ll let ya know if I change my mind. HEAT FORECASTING SYNOPTIC PATTERN GUIDE: Dew point is a measure of the moisture content of the air and is a better indicator of comfort or discomfort than relative humidity, because relative humidity is RELATIVE to the temperature so it goes down as the temp goes up even if the moisture level holds constant.    For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • The first month of Summer temperatures have averaged cooler than normal and rainfall has on average been near-normal as you can see in the charts below: Temperatures this week will be within 3 degrees or so of the normal high of 88 with a typical Summertime Atlanta chance of an afternoon or evening thunderstorm today, then a little higher than normal chance of a shower or storm tomorrow through Saturday the 4th of July. High humidity will make up for the lack of extreme heat with cloudy and sunshine intervals interspersed the next 7 days.  The hottest weather compared to normal will be West and North of Georgia on average for the first part of July: MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE ESTIMATE: RAINFALL AMOUNTS 5-DAY AVERAGE ESTIMATE: MY EXCLUSIVE 5-DAY FORECAST HERE.  Keeping an eye on potential tropical development this week as well: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • By now you’ve probably heard about the SAL or Saharan Air Layer which is a layer of dry stable air with high concentrations of dust from the deserts of North Africa.  We talked about it on WSB Radio in the news and weather reports and I posted an in-depth blog about it the other day here. Here is the updated model timing for the plume coming our way.  NASA GEOS-5 MODEL... WEDNESDAY 6PM: NOON THURSDAY:  7PM SATURDAY: NOON SUNDAY: NOON MONDAY: TUESDAY MORNING: NEXT WEDNESDAY MORNING: Dust plume forecast loop animation.  For more Follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • It happens from time to time every year in the Summer, just to varying degrees. But the plume of dust coming off North Africa is unusually large, bigger than the U.S. and Europe. The latest satellite image of the huge dust plume is shown above from Africa to the Caribbean.  The dry dusty air mass can hinder tropical storm development and produce hazy skies and spectacular sunrises and sunsets (especially vivid reds) when it reaches your area. Known as the Saharan Air Layer (SAL) the dust plume will make the 5,000 mile journey to parts of the Southern United States this week, carried by the East to West moving Trade Winds, reaching the Atlanta area by the coming weekend and lasting into early the following week.  Sometimes a portion of the dust can be mixed down to earth by vertical air currents and of course rained out by showers and thunderstorms. On the other hand if there is enough dust it can help inhibit the formation of thunderstorms and increase sunshine. As seen from space: As seen from earth (Puerto Rico): SAL FORECAST FROM NASA GEOS-5 DUST MODEL FRIDAY/SATURDAY: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Downgraded to a tropical depression after going on land, the broad circulation and moisture from Cristobal is expected to drift slowly North over the next 5 days with the center of the storm expected to move onshore somewhere in central or Eastern Louisiana by early Monday morning as a moderate tropical storm. Texas impact minimal, confidence fairly high it will not be a hurricane but could become a strong T.S. for a small area of the La coast. Peak wind forecast around 60 MPH.  But thanks to the broad circulation it will have significant impacts in rain, storm surge, and waves from Eastern Texas to Western Florida along with rip currents. Strong winds and isolated tornadoes can be expected even away from the center of the storm. Overall, it will be rain not wind that will have the greater impact. The storm is lopsided so the strongest will be on the East or right-hand side of the system, so lesser effects for Texas and more effect on LA, MS, AL, FL.  As the remnants of the system head Northeast it will drag some of its enhanced moisture into our area by Tuesday and Wednesday of next week increasing our cloud cover and chances of showers and thunderstorms.  SATURDAY: SATURDAY NIGHT: SUNDAY MORNING: SUNDAY AFTERNOON: SUNDAY NIGHT: MONDAY EARLY MORNING: MONDAY AFTERNOON: SUNDAY MORNING: MONDAY MORNING: TUESDAY MORNING: WEDNESDAY MORNING: NHC OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST: EUROPEAN MODEL TROPICAL STORM FORCE WIND PROBABILITY: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • No impact on our local weather from the remnants of the tropical storm until next week when some of its moisture will be drawn into our area Monday-Wednesday. I am NOT a fan of getting too excited about track or intensity UNTIL an organized entity is over water, it is on land now.  Meanwhile it is not hard to see all the rain in the Gulf of Mexico and adjacent states the next 5 days as the tropical cyclone circulation drifts North over the weekend into early next week: MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • I previously posted my outlook for the coming summer and gave it on the radio. Here is what the major models show for June-August. TEMPERATURE DEPARTURE FROM AVERAGE OVER THE 3-MONTH PERIOD: Clearly the greatest consensus is for the hottest summer weather on average to be over the Western third to half of the country, for our area most models match my outlook derived from analogs: a summer where the 3-4 month temperature average June-September is not far from normal one way or the other.  RAINFALL DEPARTURE FROM AVERAGE OVER THE 3-MONTH SUMMER PERIOD: The greatest model consensus on precipitation is for a somewhat wet summer in the Central and/or Northern states. Drought is most likely out West.  In our area the verdict is more split between wet and dry, but with a slight lean toward a little above-normal rainfall on average.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • A slow but steady warming trend along with an extended week long dry spell in the cards.  High pressure ridging in the jet stream takes over a good chunk of the nation for a good spell creating the change in the weather. A welcome break in the high humidity, too.  But gradually the humidity will return longer range, and scattered thunderstorms will too in a week or so. But precipitation looks only near normal or even a little below normal the next 2-6 weeks, PROVIDED any tropical weather systems stay away. I’ve already tweeted and blogged about that previously. MULTI MODEL BLEND TEMPERATURE GUIDANCE: For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.
  • Except for recent days this month has been mostly dry, last year May was quite dry and also very warm with a ridge of high pressure parked over the Southeastern U.S. Quite different this year as we have experienced an active jet stream so far in Spring with frequent frontal passages and low pressure systems, along with repeated visits by “the Wedge” aka CAD cold air damming resulting in below-average temperatures this month this year compared to last year which was much warmer than normal.  MAY 2019 TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL: MAY 2020 TEMPERATURE AND RAINFALL DEPARTURES FROM NORMAL: My Summer Outlook here.  For more follow me on Twitter @MellishMeterWSB.