Frank Strait

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Welcome To Summer!

June 19, 2012; 6:30 PM

6:30 p.m. Tuesday:

Well, my Gamecocks played a great game last night, usually you win in college baseball when you only give up two runs ... but Arky played even better and we only got one on them. Congrats, Razorbacks. See y'all again Thursday.

Once again, there's no time for a video with me on the radio every 10 minutes, but lots of time to nibble away at some text in between. For starters, I said it yesterday and I'll say it again today. Naming it at this point would mean you were wrong before by not naming it. Well, the NHC just named the critter north of Bermuda, which is now Tropical Storm Chris. "No threat to land," they say, and are correct about that, although Chris has been generating some swells and will continue to do so for a couple of days, even after its forecast 36-hour window of being a tropical cyclone.

Elsewhere in the tropics, moisture continues to bubble northward into Florida and the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean. This will be the area to watch as it edges into the Gulf of Mexico over the next couple of days. I see the NHC has it circled on their page at 10 percent, which looks reasonable for the next 48 hours. The odds for development a good bit higher, at least even money, through this weekend, though. Today's models are showing Florida to be the eventual target for this critter, and that will work out as long as it stays relatively weak for a while. The faster it develops and stronger it gets, the better the chances that it ends up getting caught under the ridge that will build over the southern Plains later this week and get pulled back toward South Texas and Mexico. However, a fast development isn't likely because there is a ton of shear over most of the Gulf of Mexico right now. The shear will relax over the next few days gradually, though, so conditions will become more favorable for development. Waters in the Gulf are plenty warm enough now, especially over the Loop Current, which is swirling around over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico.

Having this critter in the Gulf of Mexico for an extended time potentially spells a soggy doom for outdoor plans over Florida for a while. East of whatever low does form there will be southerly winds that will continuously pull a rich supply of moisture in out of the Caribbean. So, the potential will be there for locally heavy thunderstorms each day for the rest of the week and into the weekend, at least for Central and South Florida. It's possible that some of the heavy storms get into northern Florida as well.

Let's not forget that in the East Pacific, there is one area of low pressure that has formed off to the west of the Mexican Riviera (is this the ghost of Carlotta?!?) that's worth watching for development. However, it should heat straight north and weaken in the coming days whether it develops or not but its moisture may become involved in the first round of "monsoon" moisture for the deserts early next week.

Back home in the South, the weather is behaving roughly the way I thought it would west of the Mississippi today. The main focus of the moisture heading north around the upper level low back there is on eastern Texas, though good downpours can be found farther west and farther east. I still expect that this will shift westward over the next couple of days before getting shunted south by the building upper ridge. As I mentioned yesterday, a front will sneak into the southern Plains tomorrow night into Thursday before the ridge really gets going out there, leading to the front stalling and washing out. However, it is going to cause some thunderstorms, including a few bad ones, before the ridge takes over on Friday. Once the ridge does build, get ready for some serious heat out there. Sunday and Monday both look like mighty hot days with triple digits over a large area, which may get into Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and maybe even western Kentucky on Monday.

Farther east, an upper ridge is taking charge now but will only be in control for a couple of days. So look for hot, humid and mainly rain-free weather east of the Mississippi for the next couple of days. The heat is even bleeding into Yankee territory ... profusely, in fact, I'll see 90s here in Central PA over the next couple of days while Philly and some of the New York City suburbs will touch 100 on Thursday; 90s will be found all the way up into Maine. Any thunderstorms now through Thursday will be largely confined to the mountains, few and far between tomorrow but more widespread on Thursday. One or two may pop up along a sea breeze boundary, too.

After that, there will be changes. Another front will push in starting Friday. It will only get so far south over the weekend because it will be fighting against the building ridge over the middle of the country. The front will affect areas from Kentucky to Delaware on Friday and then get stuck from Kentucky to the Carolinas over the weekend. If you're fortunate enough to be north of the front, you'll have cooler and less humid weather to enjoy over the weekend, though Sunday might be wet and rather stormy right along the front if the European model is right about a wave of low pressure riding along the front that day. If you have the misfortune to be south of the front this weekend, you'll get a taste of the high heat farther west. While for the most part the triple digits will stay farther west, we might well see a lot of 95+ readings Sunday into Monday over Alabama, Georgia and maybe South Carolina.

It looks as though some big changes are coming next week, though. The models have come into agreement that another unusually strong upper trough will dig in over the eastern part of the country early next week. That makes sense because a tropical cyclone is making a recurve over the western Pacific now, actually hitting Japan along the way. Usually when that happens, you get a strong trough over eastern North America about a week later. So, the models should be on to something here. So, much cooler air should infiltrate the eastern part of the country early next week. That being said, we are heading into late June and the front should only get so far south ... especially if there is a tropical critter in the Gulf of Mexico, and particularly so if it's a named storm. So, Monday into Tuesday a cool front should get into the Southeast and cause some showers and thunderstorms. As strong as the upper support will be for the front, I fear we could see some damaging storms but that is unclear at this range. This upper trough and surface front should be what kicks out whatever we do have in the Gulf of Mexico at that time, unless it gets stronger faster and has already marched too far west as mentioned above. Once the disturbance it the Gulf does get kicked out, then the front can head farther south and hopefully dry out parts of Florida later next week. By that time, folks on the peninsula will want to see some dry weather, especially if y'all down there get a lot of rain between now and then from the tropical moisture continuously surging northward plus potentially another big slug of rain if the disturbance itself does indeed exit through Florida.

Well, that should be enough for one day. I expect to post a video tomorrow evening sometime, probably later in the evening. See y'all then!

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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About This Blog

Frank Strait
Frank Strait's weather blog is focused on the Southern States in the US. Get weather videos daily from this weather blog from AccuWeather.com.