The heat and humidity are back, and they’re not going to leave us anytime soon. Today’s highs will climb to the low 90s under partly cloudy skies:
Factor in the humidity, and the heat index will top out near 100 degrees:
That’s not hot enough for the National Weather Service to issue a Heat Advisory, but take the usual common sense hot-weather precautions — stay hydrated, adjust your pace, find some A/C or at least some shade whenever you can. Mother Nature could provide some brief relief in the form of a passing shower or storm, but it’s just a 20% chance today…the HRRR radar simulation shows some radar freckles, but nothing substantial:
If you’re heading out to Live on the Green downtown this evening, I doubt you’ll need the rain gear. But be ready to contend with the warmth and humidity!
A better storm chance will develop tomorrow, but don’t get your hopes up. The RPM model version of Futurecast shows more activity, but plenty of dry pockets as well:
In those dry areas between storms, temperatures will reach the low 90s once again:
Notice the phrasing I used above the 7-day forecast — “the last few days of August COULD bring us some even hotter temperatures.” My hesitance isn’t just due to the fact that those days are the back half of the 7-day outlook (when forecast uncertainty is always higher). There’s also the slight chance that some tropical moisture will sneak up our way from the Gulf of Mexico — right now it looks like most of that should stay off to our southeast, but that’s far from certain. The system in question is still just a “tropical wave” near the Dominican Republic:
The National Hurricane Center estimates it only has a 50-50 shot of strengthening over the next 48 hours, but an 80% chance of becoming at least a tropical depression (if not a tropical storm or hurricane) in the next 5 days:
The various forecast models on the “spaghetti plot” are in rough agreement where this system will go through the next 72 hours (although they still have varying assessments of intensity):
After 72 hours though…chaos:
The most-reliable forecast models show a strong tropical storm or Category One hurricane crossing the southern tip of Florida, then traveling up the west coast of Florida. But until this system actually develops a closed low-level circulation, the medium-range models are going to be all over the place with it. A more westerly track into the Gulf of Mexico that would eventually funnel some moisture up towards us? Definitely still possible. An easterly track that keeps the whole thing off the East Coast of the U.S.? Not as likely…but also definitely still possible. Embrace the uncertainty.
Lots of space stuff in the nerd-links today, but some weather tidbits as well…
- A mini-outbreak of tornadoes hit Indiana and Ohio yesterday — some of the most-spectacular video was taken as one of the tornadoes flattened a Starbucks. (Notice the cars in the parking lot aren’t flipped, and the trees aren’t severely damaged — I’m thinking that Starbucks might have had some pre-existing structural issues.)
- Meteorologist Brad Panovich from the NBC affiliate in Charlotte, NC says that forecasters shouldn’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”
- Big space news: astronomers announced the discovery of an “Earth-like” planet orbiting our Sun’s closest stellar neighbor, Proxima Centauri. I prefer the term “Earth-ish” because all we really know (roughly) is its size — we can’t tell if the planet has an atmosphere, what it would be made of, if there’s water, etc.
- Some additional perspective on that point — you probably wouldn’t be a happy camper if you relocated to Proxima-b (as the planet is being called).
- But that doesn’t stop some people from speculating on what types of life could develop on Proxima-b or a similar planet.
- Proxima-b is the closest Earth-ish planet to us, but it’s far from the only one that has been discovered so far.
- SpaceX founder and odd-but-interesting person Elon Musk will unveil his plan next month for sending to humans to Mars.
- Astronaut Jeff Williams has broken the United States record for most days in space.
- Yesterday was the 1937th anniversary of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii. Maybe. The exact date is one of many uncertainties about the eruption.
- The Electoral College is even weirder than you think. Some funky math herein.