We’ve seen several heat waves this summer hit a large portion of the country, and now as we start to transition into Fall, we’re in the midst of yet another one. The last several days have featured temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees above-average, stretching from the plains all the way to the eastern seaboard. Some localized areas in the northeast are even pushing 20+ degrees above-average for this time of the year. Even worse, this isn’t a dry heat, as we have a deep flow of tropical air from the south keeping things gross and humid for many of these locations. So, one might ask, how long is this heat going to last, and when will we finally start to feel some consistent relief from it?
If you’re looking for a summer extension then this is probably welcomed news. If you’re ready for fall to get underway and temperatures to cool off though, you’ll be doing some waiting, at least the foreseeable future. We look to be stuck in a relatively stagnant pattern through the end of this month and into the first week of September, with more 10-20 degree above average temperatures widespread throughout the country anywhere east of the Rockies. Humidity may continue to be a hinderance as well.
If we just take a look at the ECMWF’s depiction of this ongoing heat wave, you can see that over the course of the next week, things will stay fairly consistent with the scope and intensity of the warm temperatures. Very little shifting if any. The worst of the heat stretches from the northern plains and midwest right over to the northeast and New England, with places further south and east closer to average. Out west, with the exception of the final image showing temperatures next week, we see quite the opposite, with temperatures mostly average to below-average.
We can give thanks to a massive ridge over the eastern two-thirds of the US for this anomalous heat pattern, allowing for mild air and humidity from the deep south to push really far into the northern states and even well into Canada. In terms of when a pattern like this should break down, it could last into nearly mid-September, but not necessarily at the intensity we’re currently seeing. It’s also important to keep in mind that as average temperatures drop heading into fall, so 15 degrees above-average in late August will not be the same as 15 degrees above-average in mid-September. It’s all relative.
Ridging like this also could have other implications unrelated to just temperatures and heat. During these late summer-early fall months, strong ridging across the east makes it easier for potential tropical troubles to meander closer to the US coastline with a lack of cold-fronts protecting any land. With the tropics beginning to show some signs of life, this is something we’ll have to keep an eye on as well.
Make sure to check our Morning Briefing tomorrow AM for potentially some more news on this heat.