We just finished a very comfortable weekend, but we will see a major change during this week. The overall jet stream pattern allowed an area of low pressure to stay off the mid-Atlantic coast. This created a northeasterly wind for much of the weekend, keeping highs below normal and humidity levels very low. Daybreak lows both days of the weekend dropped into the low and mid 50s in much of the area.
A dome of hot, humid air has been located across the central part of the country. The jet stream pattern has kept this locked up for a few days, but this will change over the next 48 hours.
Strong clusters of thunderstorms have been forming on the edge of the heat and traveling around the periphery. As this hot weather moves eastward, we may see a few thunderstorms survive the trip into the state Monday and Tuesday. These will be scattered, so not all areas will experience them.
The core of the heat and humidity will take up residence in our area Wednesday through Friday, producing highs near or slightly above 95°. As dew point levels rise to near 70° (dew points levels: 50s – comfortable, 60s – increasingly humid, 70s – quite muggy), heat index values will get near or break 100°, especially Thursday and Friday afternoons. Air quality will likely take a turn for the worse during this period as the hot and humid air allows pollutants to stagnate.
A cold front will approach the area Friday afternoon and evening with scattered showers and thunderstorms. After the front passes Saturday morning, slightly cooler and less humid air will filter in Saturday afternoon. This means highs 85° to 90°, and dew points in the low to mid 60s. The front will then lift back northward on Sunday, pushing more of the heat and humidity back into the region.
A stronger system should bring more pronounced relief to the area early next week.