The week ahead: Enjoy the weekend, then grab an umbrella – maybe two – before Labor Day.

While Friday and Saturday are going to be spectacular days (if maybe just a tick warm), the rain left from Hurricane Isaac will move in just in time to soak everyone’s Labor Day plans – and then some.

It’s August 31, a day of two meteorological milestones. First, August 31 is the last day of meteorological summer, the three statistically warmest months. Meteorological autumn begins tomorrow, September 1. Second, August 31 marks the halfway point in Atlantic hurricane season. With Hurricane Kirk and Tropical Storm Leslie currently active in the central Atlantic Ocean, we’re now up to 12 named storms on the season, 4 of which (Chris, Ernesto, Isaac, and Kirk) have reached hurricane status. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) seasonal outlook expects 12-17 named storms.

This August 31 also holds an astronomical significance. You know that friend of yours that promised an extra-special favor for you “once in a blue moon?” Today’s the day to cash in. A “blue moon” isn’t literal (nor is it referring to a tasty beer in this case), but rather it refers to the second full moon in a calendar month1. It’s the only blue moon until 2015, so cash in on those bets (or beers) while you can.

The Week Ahead

The weekend – beginning today – is looking fantastic. Mostly sunny skies today will lead to temperatures near 95, and a muggy Friday night with lows near 75. Saturday is a little cloudier and a little cooler as a result, near 90 and and 72.

The first chances for some rain creep into the forecast beginning late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, as the low pressure system once known as Hurricane Isaac spins through the Ohio Valley and interacts with a boundary over the next several days. Temperatures will run in the mid 80s from Sunday through Wednesday, with the best chances for rain and thunderstorms from Sunday through Tuesday. This isn’t good news for anyone who’s got outdoor Labor Day plans in Richmond, Blacksburg, or anywhere in between, unfortunately.

Two-day precipitation totals beginning 8pm EDT Sunday, September 2nd and ending 8pm EDT Tuesday September 4th.

The front and low pressure center finally clear out by Thursday, giving us some improving weather prior to the weekend. Temperatures will stay relatively moderate and close to the seasonal averages, with highs near 85 and lows near 70 through Thursday.

1or does it? Sky & Telescope Magazine suggests this may not be the case.

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Weather Dan

Dan Goff is now a two-time former Richmonder, having departed the River City yet again in favor of southwest Virginia, where he is working on degrees in geography and meteorology at Virginia Tech. Have a question about the weather or weather-related phenomena?

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