Monday, 11:30 a.m.
We're about a week or so off the typical peak of summer heat. For all intents and purposes, the drop in average temperatures is minimal, a degree here or there at best. So, as I look around the country at the current pattern then examine the daily highs and lows, I'm left to wonder where is the typical summer heat? Just a week and a half ago, there was plenty of it, along with some pretty gruesome humidity. Now? Not so much.
Look at the highs in the Midwest and Great Lakes into the Ohio Valley Sunday:
Typical highs are 84 in Chicago, 83 in Detroit and Minneapolis. It's still 80 in Iron Mountain, where the afternoon high on Sunday was just 55! The high in Houghton was only 52!
Even in the Northeast, it was anything but hot, with temperatures in the 70s and lower 80s. It was very warm in the Southeast, with highs in the 80s to lower 90s, but nothing out of the ordinary for this time of the year. There were a few places over the interior Northwest that eclipsed 90, but not many. Only parts of central and southern interior California and southern Arizona were uniformly in the 90s and 100s, as well as in much of central and Texas. Aside form those two places, where it is typically hot at this time of the year, anyway, the was no heat.
And there won't be much in the coming days, either. Look, for example, and the projected temperature anomalies across the country for Tuesday:
If you examine the upper-level pattern for Wednesday evening, it's pretty easy to see why there's just not a lot of typical summertime warmth to go around right now. Note the one ridge over land, centered over New Mexico:
The first trough that's rolling out of the Great Lakes toward the Northeast this afternoon and tonight is kicked across Quebec into Labrador by then so that the next upstream feature can move in to replace it. That trough will really be in two pieces, with a lead piece picking up warm and increasingly humid air from the southern tier of states and bringing it northeastward toward the Ohio Valley, across the Appalachians and into the mid-Atlantic states. The rest of the trough quickly follows and helps to squeeze out more moisture from the atmosphere. So, even though the approach of the trough will invite warmer air to move in, its effect will be negated by the increase in cloud cover and some form of wet weather.
Even this weekend, the first weekend of August, real summertime heat will be lacking in much of the country, as this broad upper-level trough brings more cool air into the pattern. Really, it will be yet another feature moving along in the flow that will keep the heights low and promote the building of high pressure into the Midwest this weekend. That high will be accompanied by relatively clear skies, light winds and a cool, dry start to the month of August.
Next week doesn't promise to be warm in a lot of places, either. Here's a different view of it, the Canadian-NAEFS 8-14 day temperature outlook, with the blue splashed all over the country from the eastern Rockies to the East Coast, and from the Canadian border to the Deep South:
The bottom line is this: It's summer, but it's not hot in too many places, and where it is hot, you would expect it to be hot! I'll keep looking, though. Sooner or later the heat will return. Summer doesn't officially end until Sept. 22.
The polar vortex will roll south-southeastward over the next three days, descending upon the Great Lakes and Northeast this weekend with the coldest air mass of the winter season.
A wave of low pressure will clip the mid-Atlantic coast late tomorrow and tomorrow night, possibly resulting in some snow. A stronger storm could bring snow to parts of the East next week.
A deepening storm coming out of the Rockies and head for the Great Lakes will dump heavy snow from Colorado to Wisconsin and Minnesota, while springlike warmth will fuel severe thunderstorms from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf Coast.
Despite the historical snowfall from the Blizzard of 2016, a warm surge later this weekend and early next week will wipe out most of the snow that fell during the storm.
A major nor'easter will bring heavy, wind-blown snow through the mid-Atlantic region later Friday through Saturday, sparing much of New England of its fury.
A deepening storm heading for the East Coast Friday night may paralyze parts of the mid-Atlantic with heavy snow and strong winds through Saturday.