A cold front, tantalizingly close to us, won't bring the temperature and humidity change we were hoping for last week. This kind of false promise is typical of August here in the South, when other parts of the country are getting a little hint of fall, but even the forecast models don't seem to realize it's very hard to dislodge a hot air mass that's been in place for weeks.
We knew a cold front would make progress through the eastern U.S. over the weekend and early this week, and even squeeze its way through much of Georgia and Alabama. That will certainly turn our winds more northerly on Monday but the push of drier, cooler air won't be able to make it his far. The hope for cooler mornings and lower dew points has certainly faded, and summer will stubbornly hang on. A refreshing break will come to those living from the Midwest all the way to the east coast, but only from about Tennessee northward.
The front will stall somewhere in the area, setting us up for at least isolated showers and thunderstorms each day through Wednesday, but as it breaks up and washes out two things will happen: our air will become more stable and any chance for rain is likely to disappear after Wednesday, and aloft a strong upper ridge is forecast to build right overhead. The result is that by next weekend we're likely to be the hottest region of the entire U.S. other than the southwestern deserts. Nature is sending us a strong message that fall is still way over the horizon, regardless of what the calendar says.
The other item that has the attention of meteorologists is the possibility of a more active tropics on the Atlantic side. We already have a weakening Tropical Storm Fiona in the middle of the ocean but not a threat to any land at this time. An weak disturbance well out from the Leeward Islands and an easterly wave barely off the African coast are showing potential for later in the week, and models already are showing some development on these potential storms out beyond 5 days. No model is reliable at that range, but the message is that conditions are becoming more favorable for tropical mischief in our region of the world, and since we are getting to the point of summer when the hurricane season usually starts to really ramp up, it will need to be watched closely.
Kurt Schmitz, Senior Meteorologist