Weather! Watching the tropics and the thermometer

Compared to last weekend’s blast of heat, the rest of this week looks relatively comfortable in comparison. Unfortunately, it won’t last. And if you’ve got travel plans that include the Texas coast anytime soon, look out.

We’re now eight days into a streak of days with highs at or above 90 degrees. We got some relief in the form of a drop in dewpoints Tuesday afternoon; at 4pm Tuesday, the dewpoint was only 60, easily the lowest its been in several days. The relief was noticable, too. Unfortunately, the humidity climbed back into the “tropical” range by 1am, as the dewpoint at RIC is back up to 74 degrees.

Speaking of tropical, there’s some activity again in the Caribbean.

This area of interest, designated 90L, has been given a 70% chance of development into a tropical cyclone by the National Hurricane Center. The trend over the last day has been to intensify this system into at least a tropical storm within the next three days. If Tropical Storm Don does develop as the system moves into the central Gulf of Mexico, expect landfall somewhere along the Texas coast, likely somewhere between Houston and Brownsville, within in the next week or so.

Closer to home, though we’ve had a bit of a uh, “break” in the heat since the weekend, it’s not going to last. There’s a weak cold front and associated low pressure area hanging out around the region right now, but it’s not bringing a lot of unsettled weather or precipitation for us.

Wednesday will mark our coolest day this week, thanks to some clouds from the boundary. We’ll see highs today only peak in the low 90s. It’s been nine days since we’ve had a high of 93 or lower; the last time, we hit 91 way back on July 18. There’s not much in the way of precipitation likely today, just some sun and clouds. Oh, and the humidity. But that’s like an old friend at this point, yeah? Temperatures will fall back into the mid 70s tonight.

We’ll see pretty similar conditions on Thursday, though temperatures will be a shred warmer, climbing back into the mid 90s, all too familiar territory over the last few days. Again, there’s not much of a chance for anything precipitation-related, and overnight temperatures will only bottom out in the upper 70s.

The blast furnace turns on again on Friday, as high pressure moves back into the area and sends temperatures up to near 100. Indications are that the humidity won’t be as intense as last week, but the combination of heat and humidity will make it uncomfortable to be outside for long periods of time. With heat and humidity levels this high, however, shower and thunderstorm chances will creep up a bit. I’m not expecting anything widespread at this point, but don’t be surprised if you see a typical pop-up summer thunderstorm overhead in the late afternoon. Any storms that pop up will likely die down as the sun sets, and temperatures will dip back into the upper 70s overnight.

The heat peaks again over the weekend; we’re looking at highs above 100 on Saturday, and likely close to 100 again on Sunday. I wouldn’t be surprised to see heat advisories posted for most of the period between Friday and Sunday. Enjoy the “cool” weather this week while you can!

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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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