As we finish up the month of August, we have to endure one more day of oppressive heat and humidity. Highs today will reach the low 90s:
And heat indices will climb to the mid to upper 90s:
A slightly better storm chance will take shape this afternoon and evening as the atmosphere over the Midstate gets “squeezed” by the approach of cooler and drier air. But our rain chances still don’t look like they’ll climb over 30% this afternoon:
The HRRR model’s radar simulation doesn’t look very impressive, but there’s at least the chance that some rain-cooled air will visit you at some point.
It seems appropriate that the last day of August will be hot and muggy — this will go down as the 15th warmest August on record in Nashville (dating back to the 1870s). Today is also the last day of “meteorological summer” — rather than stick to the astronomical definition of June 21 to September 21, we round off to use June-July-August. This summer goes down as the 6th-warmest on record, despite the fact that we didn’t hit 100 degrees at any point, and we didn’t set any daily record high temperatures. So why does this summer rank so high? Two factors: 1) daytime temperatures have been consistently hot, and 2) overnight temperatures have been VERY warm. Remember, we set new records for the most consecutive days above 70 degrees, and for the most consecutive days with an average temperature at or above 80 degrees.
Thursday is transition day, as less-humid and cooler air makes its way into the Midstate. The atmospheric squeeze will still be sufficient for some spotty showers through early afternoon, once again a 30% chance:
But things will dry out by early evening, both in terms of rain chances and in terms of humidity. Dew points will still be in the upper half of the 60s as you’re heading out Thursday morning…
…but they’ll only be in the low 60s by sunset…(at least in Nashville — sorry, southern Middle Tennessee!)
…and dew points will be in the 50s by Friday morning!
Finally, back to the happy part of the muggy meter!
Friday and Saturday look flat-out pleasant. Just in time for Labor Day weekend! Sunday and Monday will be hotter, and the humidity will creep up a bit, but it still won’t be bad by any means. At worst, we’re talking about “tolerable” humidity through early next week:
The weather heading into the holiday weekend isn’t looking as cooperative in other parts of the country, especially to our east and southeast. There are two tropical systems we’ve been watching — the first is a tropical depression that’s been hanging out of the coast of North Carolina:
It’s going to make a little more westward progress today — maybe a few miles, literally — then turn around head out to sea:
Regardless of whether is strengthens to a tropical storm (at which point it gets a name) or remains a depression, it will bring rain, rip currents, and coastal erosion to the Outer Banks of North Carolina over the next 24-36 hours.
The other tropical system is still a depression as I type this, but it’s likely to strengthen to a tropical storm later today.
The water in the Gulf of Mexico is VERY warm, but the upper-level winds aren’t favorably arranged for this system to explosively strengthen to a major hurricane. Still, it could reach hurricane strength (74+mph) by the time it makes landfall tomorrow night…but the National Hurricane Center’s official forecast calls for it to be a strong tropical storm at landfall:
65mph winds are capable of doing some damage, but the major threats with this system will be flooding rains, storm surge, and coastal erosion. As this storm continues to the northeast, it will travel over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and maintain tropical storm strength through the weekend as it parallels the East Coast:
Keep in mind, the impact from this storm will be felt well away from the center of the storm indicated by the icons on those maps. Check out the total rainfall forecast for the southeastern United States through Labor Day:
- In the Pacific, Hurricane Madeline has weakened to a Category One storm, but will still bring wind damage and dangerous storm surge to the Big Island of Hawaii.
- We showed it in every hour of this morning’s newscast, but it’s worth sharing here as well — video of three hurricanes from the International Space Station.
- One of the first Americans to write about climate change? Thomas Jefferson.
- Volcanic eruptions in Iceland come with an additional threat — floods from glaciers melted by the heat of the volcano.
- Ethan Siegel’s blog posts are almost always the densest and most-challenging material that I link to, and this is no exception: what the discovery of a distant galaxy cluster tells us about the Universe’s past.
- Planet Nine — if it’s out there — could tear apart the solar system once the Sun begins to burn out…in several billion years.
- There’s a finite amount of gold on Earth, which begs the question: when will we run out of gold to put in Olympic medals?
- Dogs apparently understand our language more than we give them credit for.
- Night owls are more likely to experience nightmares. (Guess I’m safe then.)