A normal summer tends to get a bit monotonous come late July, with very little going on and only minor variations to contemplate in the day-to-day forecast. Not so this July - there's something in today's 7-day weather outlook to please almost anyone, and to keep us forecasters on our toes.
This weekend should be hot, at least relative to this particular summer. We're not talking anything extreme like triple digit heat, just mid-90s Saturday and Sunday with only a slim chance a shower could spring up to cool us off.
We've had ample rain in the past two weeks, more than enough in some places, but sufficient to keep pace with a normal July and keep the gardens growing. Still, if you'd prefer more, we have a chance for thunderstorms on Monday as a cold front approaches.
That rain has helped keep the humidity high as daily dew points have remained at or above 70º in what is basically a tropical air mass. But if the humidity is a bit much for you, we have some relief coming there as well. Monday's front is going to usher in a cooler, drier air mass starting Tuesday, leading to a stretch of sunny and pleasant weather. (Of course, "cooler" at this time of year means highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s, not exactly fall-like.)
This will all come about because of the upper air pattern where an anomalously deep trough is forecast to dig deep into the South, driving the air of Canadian origin all the way to the Gulf coast. (Note: This is not coming about because of the "polar vortex". That oft-misused term may well find its way into national news reports at some point, but this is just a trough - a dip in the jet stream.)
What's remarkable is that this will be the third time this month we've had a cold front make its way through Georgia: the first one gave us a delightful 4th of July, and the second helped bring a record low on the 17th and some record low highs in the following days. We're just missing a fourth one today, as a front has stalled north of us but has brought a nice drop in humidity to areas north of Atlanta and Birmingham.
Next week we could threaten a couple more record lows, if the cool air surge evolves according to current predictions. Record lows in the summer here have become very rare in the last couple decades; we've broken many more record highs than lows over the years.
Lest you think our cool spells and offbeat summer refutes in any way the worldwide climate change now in progress, it does not. The western states continue to roast this summer under an upper ridge, and the earth as a whole is well on our way to another hot year. Fact of the matter is, we've just been lucky in our little corner of the globe. Enjoy it while it lasts!
Forecast lows for Wed. 7/30 (NOAA)