After some unsettled weather and possibly severe thunderstorms today, we’ll get a nice break this weekend.
From a forecast perspective, it’s beginning to feel like we’re in the middle of the summertime doldrums: no matter the day, the forecast is almost always “hazy, hot, and humid,” and the only real question is whether or not we’ll see any rain.
So, let’s break this up a bit and take a look at a really hot summer, that of 2010. By this time last year, we had already seen six days with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees. A year ago yesterday we set a record with a temperature of 104 degrees. Later in July 2010, we’d see another four days with temps over 100, and a five-day swing from July 25-29, where the high temperature went 105-93-85-96-101. Last June’s average temperature was 81.1, followed by an average of 82.8 in July. So far this year, we chalked up an average of 78.1 in June, and so far we’ve got an average of 79.3 for July. We’re also not nearly as dry as we were last year; the total precipitation for June and July last year was 1.91”. Seven days into July this year, we’re looking at 4.45” since June 1. It’s a pretty stark contrast relative to last year’s talk about drought and water restrictions.
But it’s not all roses, as Chesterfield County residents are aware. Late last month, the county asked residents to enact voluntary water conservation measures. Lake Chesdin dropped a foot below full pond in late June, meaning that there are less than 300 days of supply available, triggering the move to enact the voluntary measures. If the water level continues to drop and less than 200 days of supply remain, mandatory conservation measures will be put in place, followed by emergency restrictions if the water level were to continue to drop and less than 125 days of supply remain.
The good news is that we’ve got some rain in the forecast today to help stave off some of those increased restrictions. Some early morning storms have popped up early this Friday morning, sliding quickly off to the northeast. Clouds will break and we’ll get some good daytime heating today, before the clouds build back in and the atmosphere erupts again this afternoon. The Storm Prediction Center has highlighted the entire state for a slight risk of severe thunderstorms today.
A cold front moving across the state will be the trigger for thunderstorms this afternoon; storms will be scattered but widespread, and as they do develop they will have strong wind gusts, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours, along with the possibility for hail. There’s plenty of moisture in the air, as dewpoints have been hugging 70 degrees for the better part of the last three days. High temperatures should get into the upper 80s before showers and thunderstorms cool everything off. Grab that umbrella this morning and hang on to it all day – more than likely, you’re going to need it today. Same goes for tonight’s Flying Squirrels game (vs. Harrisburg, 7:05pm); thunderstorms, possibly severe at times, will continue through the evening hours. Assuming no storms sweep across the Diamond, plan on game-time temps in the mid 80s, dropping into the upper 70s by the ninth inning.
The cold front sweeps through overnight, and should be mostly clear of the area by Saturday morning. Behind the front, we get clearing skies and drier, but not necessarily cooler, air, as high temperatures make another run at 90 degrees. Some early morning showers may linger into the early morning, but will clear out as the front sweeps out to sea, with conditions increasing to mostly sunny by the afternoon. Temperatures will cool off some overnight, dropping into the upper 60s. Saturday’s Flying Squirrels doubleheader (vs. Harrisburg, 5:35pm) will see partly to mostly sunny conditions at first pitch, with temperatures in the upper 80s. They’ll drop into the low 80s by the mid-game break, and then into the mid 70s by the seventh inning of game two.
Clear conditions will return on Sunday, and temperatures will head back into the lower 90s. Rain chances will be nonexistent, meaning Sunday’s looking like a fantastic day to get outside before the humidity comes back. Sunday’s Flying Squirrels game (vs. Harrisburg, 5:05) looks fantastic as well.
Conditions look to remain relatively stable into early next week, with continued daily highs around 90 degrees and overnight lows around 70. The forecast dolrums of summer march on…my next update will be Monday morning.