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…
- The full July 2016 U.S. Climate Report is out, including some highlighted information from our counties in Kentucky.
- Whether it’s climate change, vaccines, or any other topic…there are some fascinating reasons why people listen to a celebrity with no expertise on a topic, rather than a scientist.
- Chernobyl’s radioactive wasteland could become the world’s largest solar farm.
- The Grand Canyon has a 1.2 billion year old secret.
- Still plenty of hurdles ahead before we send human’s to Mars, but this is a big step…six U.S. companies will develop prototypes and concepts for deep space habitats.
- Venus is a 900° hellscape now, but experts say it may have been habitable for billions of years.
- Saturn’s moon Titan has a very Earth-like surface, including flooded canyons. But they’re not flooded with water…
- The most dangerous object known to humanity.
- Astronomers may get a chance to find moons…around a planet orbiting another star!
- If we ever want to visit that star, we’re going to have to figure out how to travel a LOT faster. How humans could go interstellar without a warp drive.
- Here’s a good mind-bender: could you travel in a straight line in space and return to Earth?
- The pressure is on (literally) to make metallic hydrogen.
- My wife and I are making our way through this show right now — I sit there thinking about string theory and the multiverse, so this article was right up my alley: ‘Stranger Things’, parallel universes, and the state of string theory.
- Some Greenland sharks swimming in the ocean today were alive during Galileo’s time? (That would make them the oldest known living vertebrates.)
- The science of working smarter and happier.
- Researchers may have figured out how cancer actually spreads.
- The bandwidth bottleneck that is throttling the internet. (Which I refuse to capitalize, despite Apple’s near-insistence.)
- Why we’re so confused: the problems with food and exercise studies.
- Speaking of exercise…Michael Phelps now has 22 Olympic gold medals (and counting). What makes him so good?
- Seven things that we’re hardwired to love — or hate.
- Where the line between religion and science gets fuzzy — the long and arduous quest to weigh the soul.