The National Weather Service offices in our area continue a Heat Advisory for all of our coverage counties (except for Itawamba County, MS where there is an Excessive Heat Warning) for this Friday as the hot weather continues. High temperatures this afternoon will likely top out again in the mid 90s, with the few "cooler" communities topping out near 93 degrees and the warmer communities making a solid run at 98 or even 99 degrees. Heat index values will once again be in the 103 to 108 degree range by afternoon, and may be above 100 degrees for several hours today.
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We are seeing increasing signals for some heat-relieving showers and thunderstorms during this afternoon and evening though. Our high-resolution Baron Futurecast model, as well as others, show an outflow boundary that works southward into the area by afternoon that interacts with the hot and humid air mass, and that allows the development of scattered showers and thunderstorms. These first develop over middle Tennessee and then work south or even southwestward through much of the area during the afternoon and evening. Not everybody will see rain though. For those of you that do, these storms will likely cool you out of the 90s and into the lower 80s and mid to upper 70s. For those of you that miss these storms though, afternoon temperatures are likely headed toward the 94 to 98 degree range.
The good news is that this is just the beginning of the pattern change that allows the heat ridge to break down and retrograde back westward out of our area. The front moving southward toward us today stalls near our area over the weekend, bringing with it several chances for showers and thunderstorms. They will be rather isolated to widely scattered for Saturday, but will steadily become much more widespread later Saturday night and especially Sunday. Some of the rainfall could be locally heavy at times. Rain chances continue into early next week as the front gradually heads southward toward the Gulf Coast.
The good news is that as this hot pattern breaks over the weekend, it does not look to return next week after the rain clears out. High temperatures next week look to return to the low to mid 80s, with heat index values dropping back into the 80s as well, and morning lows back into the 60s. Definitely a welcome sight after the hot weather so far this week!
The tropics remain mostly quiet across the Atlantic basin for now as well. We are starting to see tropical waves begin to roll off the west coast of Africa again though. None of these have been that organized yet, and we do not expect tropical development in the imminent future. However, this is a sign that large scale conditions are gradually but steadily growing more favorable for tropical development as we approach August. We will have to begin watching every wave carefully as they roll off Africa and out into the open waters of the Atlantic. The Atlantic hurricane season runs through the end of November, and with a resurging La Nina pattern getting back into place, it may not stay all that quiet for long.