The week ahead: Heat, humidity, with thunderstorms mixed in

/ July 26, 2020 at 7:41 PM

We continue our midsummer heat, humidity, and thunderstorm chances as we close out July and head into August. Temperatures will continue to run in the low 90s each day; heat indices will top out in the low to mid-100s in the afternoons before the onset of thunderstorms. After more isolated coverage on Monday, expect an uptick for much of the rest of the week with a little upper-level support getting in on the action. Some of you who have been on the “miss” side of the “hit-or-miss” thunderstorms these past few days will have plenty of chances to get a free lawn watering in the upcoming week!

Watching the tropics

As August gets closer and closer, so does the peak of hurricane season. 2020 has certainly been very active, burning through names ahead of 2005’s pace (which, for what it’s worth, saw us get into the Greek alphabet). Tropical Storm Hanna, which came together quickly in the Gulf and made landfall as a hurricane in southern Texas yesterday, continues to move through Mexico, dumping quite a bit of flooding rain in far southern Texas on the storm’s eastern flank. Hanna is the earliest “H” storm on record, beating 2005’s incarnation of Harvey. And, if forecasts bear out, we’re going to set a record for earliest “I” storm, too.

The National Hurricane Center is watching a tropical wave between Africa and the Lesser Antilles for what appears to be very likely tropical cyclone formation over the next few days. The 8PM outlook (which came out at 7:23PM, for those of you keeping score on NHC’s punctuality) showed the area of disturbed weather, dubbed Invest 92L, with a 70% chance of forming into a tropical cyclone in the next 48 hours, and a near-certain 90% chance over the next five days. If the ensuing depression strengthens to a tropical storm, which appears probable, the next name on the list will be Isaias (pronounced ees-ah-EE-ahs).

We will want to keep an eye on 92L as it makes its trek across the Atlantic, as it could pose a risk to Puerto Rico and possibly the Bahamas in 7 days time. It is still far too early to know what may happen beyond then. The models, quite frankly, aren’t doing great right now, so we’ll be keeping an eye on them. It’s more important than ever to be very careful about sharing what you’re seeing on a computer model past 5-7 days out — the apocalyptic scenarios some will undoubtedly pose may end up being very far from the eventual reality. I’ll be watching it, and will let you know if it becomes an issue.

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