Pinpoint Weather: Persistent pattern of heat and humidity with late day storms
The typical summer pattern of hot and muggy days with isolated storms in the afternoon will continue. There is an area of high pressure in the upper levels of the atmosphere, The Bermuda High, that is providing some moisture and heat from the western Atlantic. There is an area of high pressure at the lower levels that is keeping a lid on the heat in place. They are working in concert with each other to maintain this hot and humid scenario and it looks to continue into the weekend.
Highs today will be in the middle 90s in a number of locations east of the foothills and in the upper 80s in the mountains. Normal highs in the mountains for late August are upper 70s, so needless to say there is a spike in the heat this week all around. Normal Highs in the Piedmont are the middle 80s.
The new Drought Monitor has been issued, shows some improvement due to the rains of last week.
Spotty storms will percolate in the afternoon heat and we should be looking at some good rain makers so keep an eye on any rising water in your neighborhood.
Friday will be a similar day but the flow of air from the SE may be cut off a bit so there may not be as much shower activity in the southern half of Virginia. There will, however, be a better chance for rain in northern Virginia as a cold front pushes through just north of the Commonwealth. There may be enough of an outflow to spark a number of late day storms in our northern counties so that is something to keep a look out for Friday.
Saturday and Sunday will be hot with isolated storms each afternoon.
As for the tropics, Tropical Depression Nine has formed just west of Jamaica and will more than likely become a hurricane as it migrates into the Gulf of Mexico shortly. The Gulf of Mexico this time of year is very warm and this cyclone (possibly Ida) has the chance to become a major hurricane (cat 3 or above) before making landfall near Louisiana. Very preliminary observations and they will change frequently, other than the fact that there is another tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Basin today.
Stay safe, cool, and hydrated.