The summer of 2021 overall hasn’t been a terribly hot one. There have been some warm and very humid days but nothing downright blazing hot.
Hickory Regional Airport has recorded a total of 15 days in which the temperature has been at or above the 90 degree mark going back to June 1st. The highest temperature has been 94 degrees in June 30th.
A lot of that be credit to the general synoptic pattern which has resulted in troughing across the Central and Eastern US while the heat ridges has generally formed along and West of the Rockies. The persistent reloading of lower heights across the Southeast US has prevented any extended heat waves from setting in.
Another heat ridge is starting to build but one difference this go-around is that the highest heights will focus in the Plains, this sprawling high will have just enough space covered to where the Southeast will be in the eastern periphery of its reach.
After another day of showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday, the ridge will start to assert itself and by Thursday we will be on the eastern extent of the 594 dm contour. That will provide a westerly wind aloft and near the surface which will downslope east of the Southern Appalachians.
The GFS Ensemble hints at the hottest weather of the year Wed-Fri as guidance shows temperatures in the mid to upper 90’s. Those numbers may be a hair too aggressive but we do believe on Thursday the region will see its hottest day of the summer will little in the way of relief from thunderstorms.
One other issue that we will run into could be the return of smoke and haze from the Western North America Wildfires. Recent thunderstorms has cleaned the air some but as the heat ridge re-establishes itself, it will direct a smoke plume across the Northern Plains, Midwest and eventually into the Eastern US. The worst of this smoke plume could impact the Carolina late Thursday and into Friday.
The one bit of good news is that another trough may try to form and split in the Eastern US toward the end of the current 7-Day forecast and that will ease the heat.