August 12: Approaching Record Territory, Daily Links


We’re approaching a couple of hot-weather-longevity records — one of which will be broken tomorrow, another of which could be broken early next week.  Today is our 41st consecutive day with temperatures above 70 degrees…obviously our high temperatures have been a LOT warmer than that, but even in the early-morning hours we’ve stayed at or above 70 for almost six weeks.  The record for such a streak is 41 days in 1955, a record that we’ve now tied…and a record that we’ll break tomorrow morning.  But wait, there’s more!

Everyone is familiar with measuring temperatures via the high and low, but meteorologists also keep track of the average temperature on a daily basis — just add the high and low, and divide by two.  For Nashville, a daily average temperature of 80 is hot — doesn’t matter if the high/low was 94/66 or 87/73, it’s hot either way.  Today will be our 41st straight day with an average temperature at or above 80, getting close to the record streak of 44 days (which ended in September 2007).  Looking at the 7-day forecast, I think we’re likely to keep the streak going tomorrow and Sunday, but Monday (the potential record-tying day) might be close:

Bottom line: while we haven’t set any daily temperature records, this prolonged and uninterrupted stretch of hot weather is unusual, even for this time of year.

No surprise then, today will be quite hot:
And with the humidity, it will feel even hotter:
Not much of a rain chance today…just a few radar blips on the HRRR model’s simulation (and the other short-range models show similar depictions):

A couple of different atmospheric features come into play over the weekend — a cold front to our west/northwest, and a disturbance along the Gulf Coast:
The Gulf Coast system is bringing significant flooding to Louisiana today, and will continue to do so over the weekend — some spots just west of New Orleans could get over a foot of rain between now and Sunday:

As the cold front moves closer to us, it will get stuck along the Ohio River — that’s not close enough to give us any relief from the heat and humidity, but it is close enough “squeeze” the atmosphere overhead.  Some of the deeper atmospheric moisture down south will work it’s way to the north and interact with the nearby front, which means a better chance of scattered storms over the weekend.  It doesn’t look like the weekend will be a washout, but the afternoon and early-evening hours could be more-active than what we’ve seen the past few days.  Futurecast shows storms moving south-to-north in that time frame tomorrow…
…and again Sunday:
Don’t put too much stock in Sunday’s depiction — I’m just showing it to highlight the wetter pattern, but that model tends to struggle in the 48-72 hour range.  Looking at that model’s estimate of total rainfall through Sunday, it’s easy to pick out where the best chance of heavier rain will be — to the northwest of Nashville.  Areas of the Midstate that could really use the rain won’t get as much:

Even with the storm chances, I wouldn’t cancel any outdoor plans.  The morning hours look like the drier period both days — anything later in the day, be ready to adjust…but you may not have to!  That’s just the nature of the storm chances this time of year.

If you look back at the 7-day forecast above, you’ll see that the unsettled weather pattern will continue through much of next week.  It’s hard to be very confident in the day-to-day storm chances with a pattern like this, but if I had to pick a “wettest day” I’d go with Tuesday at this point…but that’s more of a hunch than a theory.



I didn’t have to give you any nerdy reading material yesterday, so here’s a super-sized batch of science-y goodness to hold you through the weekend…


About paulheggen33

Morning meteorologist for WNCN-TV in Raleigh.
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One Response to August 12: Approaching Record Territory, Daily Links

  1. Fred says:

    Howdy again, Paul!
    Besides records, other significant weather facts are occurring. These have been relevant for a couple of days now, but anyhow. Stats alert! All allergic (nice alliteration, eh?) to numbers-crunching are advised to look away.
    This day (Aug.12) already is the 55th day of the summer with temps of 90F or above and 60th overall. We already surpassed the total from previous August which had 11 such days. Since 1989, 12 days in the 90’s from the start of the month is 3rd most for August behind 2007 and 2010. We’ll have to wait for the end of the month for the final analysis, but there’s another bit for now. This summer is the first since 2011 to have every month begin with temps hitting the 90s. If that seems like a “meh” fact, consider this, for the summer before 2011 to satisfy the same requirements you’ll have to go back to 1991. In case anyone’s wondering “And the one before that?” well, prepare to revisit 1961. Pretty odd numerology, right? We evened it out this year (sorry, I had to). Guess one could make the case for global warming being more than just global whining:).

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