Heat Wave Next Week
We have had some hot weather so far this year, but the heat is about to get turned up considerably! A strong ridge will develop over the Central and Eastern United States next week; ridges are large bodies of unusually warm air from the surface upward through as much as 15,000 to 20,000 feet in the atmosphere. In spite of the unusual (and sometimes intense) heating at ground-level, subsidence (sinking air) inside the ridge’s area of influence prevents scattered shower or storm development. Dry ground gets hotter than moist ground, and the subsidence alone promotes even more heat; it becomes a vicious cycle that can give us long spells of very hot, dry weather – not good news for an area teetering on the borderline of prolonged drought (Alabama Data & Tennessee Data).
As the ridge intensifies over the East next week, daytime high temperatures will soar from the lower 90s on Monday and Tuesday toward the middle and upper 90s by the end of the week. We might even nudge 100º in The Shoals and West Tennessee by Friday and Saturday.
Forecast Highs Compared to the Records
* TUE WED THU FRI SAT
Forecast: 92 94 96 96 98
Record: 106 (1936) 102 (1933) 105 (1932) 105 (1933) 104 (1930)
Forecast: 92 95 97 98 100
Record: 104 (1936) 102 (1933) 102 (1932) 104 (1933) 101 (1930)
From our vantage point on Friday evening, the record highs set in the 1930s will probably stand without being tied or broken; however, we may come close by Friday and Saturday! For some perspective, the hottest “official” NWS-reported temperatures we have had so far are:
Muscle Shoals: 97 (5/26 and 5/27)
Huntsville: 96 (5/27)
Decatur: 95 (5/27)
With this large ridge over the East, any tropical developments that get stirred up in the Caribbean or Gulf of Mexico will have a very difficult time moving north toward the Florida, Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana Coast. In fact, if the ridge is as strong as advertised, it could help enhance the threat for a tropical storm or hurricane in Mexico or Texas by late next week. If you have beach plans, check back in with us later in the week. Even when things look like a guarantee, there are always some surprises in the world of weather.