Fourth of July: The heat
The main headline in the short term forecast is the heat. Please be careful if you’re out and about the next couple of days. I know a lot of you plan to be outside for the Fourth. Limit your time in the afternoon sun and drink lots and lots of fluids (water is best). If you consume alcohol be sure to keep in mind that it will dehydrate you further, though you may feel hydrated. Heat related illnesses are not something to take lightly.
We will run the risk of an afternoon/evening storm today and tomorrow, but those chances are very slim.
On Thursday, our rain chances pick back up again. We’ll have a couple of disturbances that will help shake up our hot and humid atmosphere and bring scattered to numerous mainly afternoon and evening showers/storms. Not all of us will get wet, but the ones of us who do will get some hefty downpours of rain and lots of lightning. A strong to severe storm is also possible, though widespread severe weather is not expected.
I was looking at the tropics this morning and there are two areas of interest that have been watched. One is on the northern Gulf Coast. This area of disturbed weather was only ever given a 10% chance of development. The system is moving onshore today near New Orleans with heavy rainfall. The system now has 0% of development into a tropical storm.
Another area being watched is out over the Atlantic. This system is not tropical at this time but it may become more tropical in nature in the next couple of days. The system has been given a 20% chance of development. Regardless of development, the system is expected to stay out over open ocean waters and pose no threat to land.
So, overall, all is quite in the tropics for this first week of July. If you have any travel plans to the coast over the next week or so you should be in good shape.
As for our local weather, just be very careful in the heat, folks. I got too hot in a race a few years back and got the sickest I’ve ever been. The bad news is that you never quite handle the heat the same again after you get that sick. Heat-related illness can change you and you may never be the same after getting dangerously hot.
I looked at some of the extended outlooks and it looks like we may have some cooler weather coming. You must take these outlooks with a grain of salt, but at least they don’t show us staying super hot.
Below is the outlook for July 14-27. Again, don’t take these extended outlooks too seriously, but at least the trend is for the Southeast to stay at or below normal for temps. Notice all that heat just to our west, extending all the way to Alaska. I bet we go into August with all that sliding our way….. Hot? In August? I don’t think that’s too far fetched of an idea. ha
Speaking of some heat…on this day in 1952, Nashville hit 94 degrees. That made 31 consecutive days of 90+ readings. The average temperature during this 31-day streak was 97.3 degrees! Folks, that’s a dang heat wave! Let’s be thankful we’re not dealing with anything like that!
I looked at the national records, too, and was surprised to see Tennessee show up. It’s not good news. On this day in 1987, three men were playing golf in Kingsport, Tennessee when it started to rain. The only shelter from the rain was a tall tree on a small hill. When lightning struck it chose it’s obvious target. The three men were killed instantly.
We’ve come a long way with lightning awareness on golf courses since then. But, we still have folks who get struck on golf courses and we still have work to do on educating folks who are boating or are on the beach when a storm moves in. If you hear thunder please go indoors. If you see dark clouds gathering, go indoors. We’re starting to think that a good number of today’s lightning deaths are folks hit by that first strike. In other words, there was no warning of thunder because they were the victim of the storm’s first strike.
You all have a happy and safe Fourth of July. And remember to take care of your pets. Many of us have pets that are terrified of fireworks. Take care of ’em.
Have the best day and stay cool!