I think we can all agree the heat is here! Low temperatures overnight were nearly 10 degrees warmer than Thursday, most in the upper 60s and low 70s. It is already on the upward climb to the 90s for our Friday afternoon. As the core of high pressure moves off to the southeast, it will allow for a more southerly flow bringing heat and humidity to the Tri-State. We can expect partly cloudy and breezy conditions for today, possibly seeing gusts up to 20 mph at times. Unfortunately, the breeze won’t bring much relief to the heat. Dew points are expected to stick around the high 60s, which could make it feel as hot as 95° at times.
As we head into the weekend, Saturday and Sunday will be cooler, but the humidity isn’t going anywhere. If anything it will help fuel those shower and thunderstorm chances moving in from the northwest. Temperatures will drop down to the mid 80s, but heat indices will continue to be on the higher side and it could feel as hot as 90° both days. The shower and thunderstorms aren’t expected to turn severe, but we could experience heavy down pours and gusty winds. Some of our communities could receive well over an inch of rain by Monday morning.
Rain, heat, and humidity aren’t the only conditions we’ll be experiencing here in the Tri-State over the weekend. As early as tonight, a massive Saharan dust plume could move into our area. As high pressure continues to set over the southeast, it is allowing the dust layer to move into much of the Gulf Coast region. Forecast models show a lighter amount of dust moving into our area tonight. The thicker dust isn’t expected to make its presence until tomorrow into Sunday. The good news is we may get a few days of vivid sunsets. The bad news is we could experience hazy skies during the day, reduced visibility and degraded air quality. With our anticipated showers and storms, it’s possible that we may even see periods of muddy rain depending on the amount of dust hanging in the air. Folks with respiratory health issues are asked to be cautious when heading out doors over the weekend.