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Our first tropical storm of the season?

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SUMMARY

Today is going to be another hot one, with highs hitting at least the 85-degree mark. It’s not impossible that we could hit 90 degrees. The warmest we’ve ever been in May is 91 degrees on May 13, 1962. I don’t think we’ll break that record, but some of you may get close. The humidity should be a bit higher today, as well, and you’ll really notice it getting higher tomorrow. That increase in humidity will lead to isolated to scattered thunderstorms across the plateau Tuesday afternoon and evening. That activity should taper off after the sun sets.

Then, a much better chance for scattered showers and storms moves in on Wednesday and that rain chance will stay with us through next weekend. Showers and storms look as if they’ll be most common in the afternoons and evenings, becoming more isolated after dark. The best chance of rain looks to be on Thursday and Friday. That is when the tropical low that is in the Gulf of Mexico right now will be tracking right up over the top of us.

While temps will be cooling off as we go through the week, humidity will become much higher and that will make it feel more oppressive. Tropical systems bring up a lot of warm, moist air and that will certainly be the case for us this week. The good news is that widespread severe weather does not look likely this week.

DISCUSSION

I didn’t put the caution for heat on our forecast today, but be careful if you’re out and about this afternoon and don’t get too hot.

It will be interesting to see what the tropical low in the Gulf does this week. Hurricane season starts June 1, but we have seen systems develop in May before. It’s unusual, but it can certainly happen. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like conditions will be favorable for a strong system, so that’s good news. It’s also good news that it will bring us rainfall. We’re already getting dry. When you have temps has unseasonably hot as we have here lately, it doesn’t take long to get dry. Some of us put out gardens this weekend and I can tell you that ground was bone dry! It’ll be nice to see that dirt turn to mud this week!

The National Hurricane Center says that the system in the eastern Gulf has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical storm this week, before it makes landfall on the Florida Panhandle. I’ll keep you posted.

In advance of this tropical system, we have a strong high pressure in control today. That will keep us sunny and dry. In nature, as you probably remember from grade school, what goes up must come down. The same is true for the air in our atmosphere. All that rising air near the tropical low in the Gulf of Mexico leads to sinking air up here on us. Then, that air that is sinking on us spreads out along the ground and eventually must rise again. That often forms a ring a storms around high pressure areas. That is very evident today looking at the maps for severe storms risks today. I show the center of the areas of high and low pressure, and the arrows show the flow around those highs and lows.

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Storms are already developing along the edge of our high pressure. This is the lightning map this morning.

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Kinda neat, huh?

As we go through the day we’ll see storms along the edge of our high pressure, especially where you see the yellow shaded area (slight risk for severe storms). In the summer time, we have to watch the areas around our high pressures because we can get some really rough storms along these regions, with strong straight-line winds. Remember, sinking air is stable and dries out as it sinks. Rising air is unstable and cools as it rises into our colder atmosphere. This cooling air condenses and forms storms.

So, we have settled into a very summer like pattern, including a tropical low.

You all have a great day and if you get a chance to head out to Mayland this evening stop by the Senior Center and say hello! I’ll be having my first ever Meet and Greet, as I am running for County Commissioner of the 7th district (Rinnie, Woody, Mayland). If you know anyone who would like to come by, please let them know! I’m nervous and excited (if that makes sense?), so think about me this evening.

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