brotherofair.com —– The worst heatwave of the year is currently building up across the southern United States. And throughout the rest of this month, it’s going to expand into an oppressive heat dome, causing all kinds of problems. Droughts, severe weather, and even an increased threat of a major hurricane making landfall are all potential outcomes. It all begins with a high-pressure system.
This phenomenon is forecasted to grow exponentially, breaking records and becoming as intense as a high-pressure system can possibly be in this climate. Most of the extremely hot air will be at higher altitudes, floating around 20,000 feet above the ground. However, some of it will reach the surface, resulting in an all-encompassing heatwave in the central United States. Take a look at this temperature anomaly animation. Starting this weekend, a vast area with temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above the average will settle over the central U.S. This monstrous heatwave will linger beneath a ridge of high pressure.
The jet stream is expected to curve across the country without significant movements or waves, allowing the heat dome to intensify over time. Consequently, many people from Texas to Iowa and even further east into the Ohio Valley and southeastern regions of the U.S. are likely to experience the hottest temperatures of the year next week. We’re talking about temperatures ranging from 90 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit for everyone in the areas marked in dark reds, browns, and purples on the map. The longer this ridge persists, the more extreme the heat will become. It appears that this will be an extended heatwave, possibly lasting for five to seven days in certain regions, with the potential for another round to follow, extending through the end of August.
However, the dangerous heat is just one aspect of the problems stemming from this weather system. An even more significant impact will be the worsening of the ongoing drought in the plains. It is anticipated that the drought monitor will depict a much grimmer picture in the coming weeks. Storm systems that would typically bring precipitation will follow the jet stream and avoid the heat dome, leaving many areas parched.
This leads us to another intriguing feature of this massive high-pressure ridge—what will happen outside the heat dome?
Outside the Dome
In the northeastern United States, we will find ourselves outside the upper-right quadrant of the heat dome. This positioning places us perfectly to experience recurring systems diving in from the northwest out of Canada. These cold air masses racing toward the warmer air are likely to generate some of the most robust storms we’ve seen this year, especially in upstate New York and New England. In fact, we may start to experience this as early as next week when a fast-moving system is expected to arrive on Tuesday into Wednesday, bringing strong winds and heavy rain.
Further west, the heat dome will draw Pacific moisture into the western states. While this is positive news for potentially alleviating wildfire risks, it could be detrimental in terms of flash floods and mudslides due to the influx of Pacific moisture, especially since some of it is originating from the remnants of Hurricane Hillary.
All this energy is expected to be drawn towards our ridge and then impact California in the form of heavy rainfall.
The Tropics Are Heating Up
On the southern edge of our “outside the dome” zone, the doors are wide open for potential tropical systems to enter the United States. This could occur as early as next week, with the Euro model already showing a tropical system approaching the Gulf Coast and bringing rain to Texas. Towards the end of the week, some of this rain may even reach the central plains due to this tropical system, which could provide much-needed relief in the form of tropical rainfall for Texas.
However, the longer this weather pattern persists, the greater the likelihood that a less friendly tropical system could wander into the Gulf of Mexico, which could be particularly problematic at this time.
Sea surface temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, are unusually high. In fact, the current average temperature of the Gulf of Mexico is higher than ever recorded. This map illustrates the current water temperatures, with all the white areas indicating ocean temperatures exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. It cannot be stressed enough how problematic it would be if a hurricane were to access these warm waters. Such conditions would provide a direct source of high-energy fuel for tropical systems, likely causing rapid intensification into a major hurricane.
The saving grace so far this year has been wind shear, which has deterred storm formation. However, due to our high-pressure ridge and an extended jet stream, there is expected to be a period of reduced wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico, increasing the likelihood of storm formation. Experts at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida, concur with this assessment and have highlighted a significant portion of the Gulf with a 20% chance of development over the next seven days.
Zooming out, we can see even more activity in the main development region. There are currently not one but two areas of interest off the coast of Africa, both carrying a 50% chance of developing into tropical systems over the next seven days. While Saharan dust is currently inhibiting their development in the short term, by August 20th, it appears that the dust will dissipate into the ocean, further fueling any potential storm development.
In my opinion, the Atlantic hurricane season is about to become significantly more active. This is in line with climatology, as we approach the peak of hurricane season.
Additionally, the Eastern Pacific Ocean is also seeing heightened activity, with Hurricane Hillary likely to become a major hurricane off the coast of Mexico this weekend. Subsequently, it will funnel its residual moisture into California, resulting in heavy rainfall. This rainfall is expected to commence as early as Saturday and intensify through Sunday and Monday. Despite the center of circulation remaining at a considerable distance, an extended period of rainfall is anticipated, leading to flash flooding concerns in areas such as Las Vegas, San Diego, and Los Angeles.
The flood risks may extend further north and east in the early part of next week. For those residing in these areas, this scenario may bring back memories of the remnants of Hurricane Kathleen in 1976. The primary concern will be hazardous flooding and the potential for significant mudslides, as Hillary is expected to be considerably weaker as it approaches the West Coast. There is even a slight chance that Hillary could make landfall as a weak tropical storm, which is noteworthy as such an event has not occurred in California since the 1930s.
For coastal residents, especially along the Gulf or Atlantic coasts, it is advisable to start making preparations as a precautionary measure. Review evacuation plans, assemble a “go bag,” and take all necessary precautions.
Furthermore, be sure to subscribe to this channel for consistent updates if any significant developments occur. In the event of a landfalling hurricane anywhere in the United States, live coverage will be provided, including insights from storm chasers and scientific instruments and cameras offering comprehensive coverage.
That concludes today’s weather update. Thank you for reading, and stay safe. Whoop!