Former Tropical Storm Erika, having dissipated over Cuba on Saturday, can still be seen on weather maps as a weak low not far from Key West, Florida. It's still drawing deep tropical moisture northward into Florida, and much of the peninsula is under flood watches for excessive rainfall through Monday. Even though it sits over warm waters in the Eastern Gulf, it is not expected to regenerate into a tropical cyclone of any type.
It does look now like we may avoid much of an effect from this system. The low will continue to draw moisture northward into Georgia, but it would be eastern part of the state that gets the most rain from this system based on the current setup. We'll have a chance of picking up a shower or storm almost any afternoon this week, but chances will be low and coverage spotty.
Many areas got drenched on Saturday, from an upper low off to our west unconnected to Erika. A "piece" of that trough moved through early Sunday, sending the bulk of rain north of here and bringing in a pump of tropical air that has delivered a beautiful Sunday with sunshine, also putting most of our area in a zone of sinking air which has suppressed most of the shower activity.
Columbus reported only .31" rain on Saturday, but my own gauge collected a whopping 2.77" with another .04" early this morning. Parts of eastern Harris County, where street flooding was reported, could have received more than 5" of rain Saturday night according to Doppler estimates. If it doesn't rain any more on Monday, I'll finish August with 6.28" rain, but still lower than the airport's 7.50"; much of the difference stems from the huge downpour parts of the city received on the 6th. In any case, it's been an unusually wet August for many (average: 3.77").
So we'll begin September with a little heat and humidity. The pattern for the week ahead - ignoring Erika's remnants for now - shows a trough in the western states, and a downstream ridge in the east. That should be sufficient to keep cold fronts away and plenty of seasonably hot air - nothing too extreme - along with daily but sparse thunderstorm activity. The upper low still spinning to our west might come into play and bump up the shower activity, but models are not agreeing much so we'll keep an eye on it and update forecasts as needed.
GFS model forecast for Thursday
I'm back on duty Monday morning after a couple days off last week, so tune in to News3 This Morning from 5 to 7 and during CBS This Morning from 7 to 9 Eastern for the latest weather info as we look ahead to Labor Day weekend!
Kurt Schmitz, Senior Meteorologist