Update: Barry has formed in the Gulf of Mexico. See below for details.
There are 3 stories that I am tracking today. The first is that we have a lot of heat and humidity returning to the region. This morning a warm front was lifting north. The winds were out of the south. So the dew points had already climbed to the mid 70s since yesterday.
Temperatures will rise to the low 90s this afternoon, but the heat index will climb to the upper 90s over many locations. It might even hit 100 in some inland spots. So we are back to the: 1. Stay hydrated, 2. Take breaks in the shade, and 3. keep an eye on the pets and the elderly.
The second hot topic (pun intended) is the chance for thunderstorms this afternoon and evening. We’ll have some scattered showers and storms forming this afternoon. They will be able to feed off of the heat and humidity in place. So there may be a few downpours. However, during the evening there will be a cluster of showers and storms developing over central Virginia. These will roll into our area during the later evening.
Some of these storms could contain strong gusty winds along with the chance for heavy rain. There is a marginal risk for severe weather, and it covers a big chunk of the viewing area.
Severe weather is possible this afternoon, but it’s more likely this evening.
Tomorrow we’ll still be very hot and humid with high temps aiming more towards the mid 90s. The heat index will be in the upper 90s to lower 100s. There will be a few more showers and storms during the afternoon, but they won’t be widespread. A cool front will settle into the area Friday night into Saturday. This should cool us down slightly on Saturday. High temps over the weekend will be in the upper 80s to near 90. It will still be fairly humid, but not as bad as today and tomorrow. At this time it looks like most of the rain and storms will be to our south. Stay tuned for updates.
Now here’s the 3rd story: We are tracking that area of low pressure over the Gulf of Mexico. So far this has been a broad/weak area of low pressure. However, the thick moisture around it was enough to create some heavy downpours and flooding over New Orleans yesterday.
The thunderstorms haven’t been centered around the center of the low up to this point. However, strengthening and increasing organization are forecast over the next 24 hours.
Update: The disturbance has become tropical storm Barry. Forecast track remains about the same as before. Surface winds are up to 40mph. Here is the latest track:
It is officially forecast to become a tropical storm by tomorrow. It is then forecast to become a hurricane between Friday and Saturday. It will try to move onto the coast of Louisiana by Saturday.
The storm would then move inland and weaken as it moves north. However, regardless of the strength this system is likely going to bring some flooding rains to that region. Here is the rainfall forecast from the Weather Prediction Center (NOAA):
We won’t have any direct impacts from the system, but some of the residual moisture could move east towards our region Sunday into Monday. Course this will be very similar to some of the tropical-type humidity we’ve already had.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler