As promised, the atmosphere will moisten up today. Dewpoints are much higher to our south and west and that air is on the way. Highs today in the mid and upper 80s with dewpoints in the mid to upper 60s this afternoon.
Any rain today? Probably not much. There is a small chance for a shower or thunderstorm this afternoon, but a higher chance tonight as an upper-level disturbance moves across the region. 15 hour futurecast:
There has been a low pressure system stuck off the coast of Florida for several days now. This system will finally get “onto the playing field” in the coming days, increasing the amount of moisture in the atmosphere over a very large piece of real estate. Here’s that system this morning:
One of the things we look at when assessing the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is “precipitable water”, which is basically a measure of how much moisture is available to be “wrung out” during rain. Precipitable water values over 2″ don’t occur around here all that often but are likely for several days at the end of this week and weekend. Check out the precipitable water loop:
What does this mean for our weather? Although showers and storms will be quite spotty through Friday, the potential is there for flash flooding in slow-moving tropical downpours. There will be a lot of moisture to wring out.
The WETTEST stretch may be over the upcoming weekend as a front slowly approaches.
HOW MUCH RAIN?
That’s the bug question on a lot of people’s minds. Keeping in mind that random, tropical downpours can result in locally higher amounts….I think a good average over the next week will be a few inches. Drought-denting for sure! I base this idea on a few things:
European ensemble model forecast (green bars toward bottom) shows about 3″
The NOAA forecast is actually somewhat higher:
The GFS ensemble model odds of more than 4″ are not bad, in fact there is a “bulls eye” of higher odds right over us:
So bottom line, good news overall with a couple of caveats. We don’t want flooding and outdoor plans can be impacted. The ground is very dry so tropical downpours can just “run off” in some places instead of being absorbed by the ground. This often leads to flash flooding.
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