Lead Forecaster Daniel Crawley
Monday was a very hot and humid day across the Western North Carolina Foothills and Western Piedmont, as a heat wave is underway.
Taking at look at the water vapor image late Monday night you can see the massive ridge that is centered across the Tennessee Valley and will eventually locate itself over the Southern Appalachians by Wednesday morning. You can see on the periphery of the heat ridge is the classic ridge-riding clusters of thunderstorms that dive southeast.
The worst of the heat wave is still ahead of us as the ridge continues to slide east. Temperatures will threaten the 100 degree mark today and Wednesday. On Thursday the ridge will retrograde back west and that may allow for the MCS track to impact Western North Carolina more.
Once we get to Friday the trough has moved enough to where some cooler and less humid air moves in for the weekend. Upper 80’s/Lower 90’s vs Upper 90’s will feel like a treat! The trough/ridge position will likely hold going into the upcoming weekend giving us a much needed break.
Unfortunately it appears that we could see the heat ridge try to shift back east around a week from now as another trough slides into the Rockies and the New England trough moves offshore. As we get closer to this upcoming weekend we will begin to know more about the severity of a second heat wave.
A look at the ensembles, you can clearly see the cooldown this weekend and then it spikes back up next week. Let’s hope we are not dealing with the ultra-high humidity.
One thing is for certain… rainfall looks to be very limited over the next 1-2 weeks. As hot as it will be coming up the ground will start to dry out quickly. With high pressure over the Continuous US, it may set up a convergence zone of storm activity down into the Western Caribbean in the long range. That might be the genesis of the next tropical threat here in the early days of the Atlantic Hurricane Season.