Summer can’t stop holding on, bringing excessive heat across the country. A low pressure system from the west will work to relieve some of this unbearable heat, but not before it causes storm development across the Midwest and the northern and central Plains, which could lead to heavy rainfall and possible flooding. The tropics finally settle down after the Atlantic basin essentially exploded with activity, but there could be a potential for a resurgence late this month/early October.

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of your Morning Briefing, where we’ll give you a mid-week rundown on everything weather-related.

Unbeatable Summer Heat:

A long-wave ridge spans across almost the entire US today, bringing with it grueling heat and keeping us stuck in what feels like endless summer. A shortwave trough making its way east from the west coast will provide relief, but not until later in the week for most affected regions. Southern parts of the east coast won’t see this high finally part until this weekend. Until then, unseasonably hot temperatures can be expected, especially in the east, for the rest of the week. Much of the Rockies, specifically Utah, should be on the lookout for Red Flag Warnings as dry, hot winds make damaging fires possible.

  1. A ridge across the US will cause hot summer temperatures across most of the US today, despite astronomical fall being right around the corner.
  2. Much of the East Coast won’t see relief from these hot temperatures until later in the week as a shortwave trough moves in from the West Coast, bringing with it much more seasonable temperatures.
  3. This excessive heat can cause hazardous fire conditions in the Rockies; small fires may be able to quickly grow and spread.

Read more about this week’s heat here.

Storms Could Bring Heavy Rainfall to the Midwest:

A shortwave trough is moving over the West Coast this morning, and will combat the stubborn high pressure ridge that dominates most of the country. As this trough moves over the Midwest Thursday and Friday, it brings ahead a low pressure system on the surface that moves across the northern Plains and has the potential to cause moderate to heavy rainfall tonight and tomorrow. This system could produce storms with rainfall of  1-2 inches, making flash flooding possible in many areas from eastern South Dakota to northern Michigan.

  1. This surface low will move out ahead of this upper-level shortwave trough, and track across the central Plains Wednesday night into Thursday.
  2. Storms developing in this area could produce heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding.
  3. Rainfall is expected to be 1-2 inches, with up to 4 inches possible locally.

Tropics Finally Settle, But We Stay on the Lookout:

After an extremely busy week in the tropics, with almost more storms to focus on than you can count, things have finally settled down. Florence has done extraordinary damage in North and South Carolina, putting numerous areas completely underwater (especially in NC). A break in tropical activity is much needed as relief efforts make strides to help however they can. SSTs have cooled slightly in the Atlantic after more than a few storms made their way through. However, jet patterns suggest the possibility for disturbances moving across the coast of Africa to become organized storms early in October. Although still too far out to take to heart, runs of the GEFS for early October suggest the possibility for strong low pressure systems in the Gulf.

  1. Many parts of the southeastern US take this break in activity as a time to begin to rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Florence.
  2. Cooled SSTs in the Atlantic will keep the ongoing train of tropical disturbances across Africa at bay, at least for the next week or two.
  3. There is a possibility for these disturbances to organize and become storms early in October, however it is still too early to be certain. For now, we take it as direction to keep our eyes peeled.


Make sure to subscribe to The Morning Briefing on the right-hand side of this article so we can send the Wednesday and Friday editions straight to your inbox.

Also remember to lookout for The Sunday Storm this upcoming Sunday evening as well as Five Things to Watch This Week on Monday.


Kathleen is a writer and meteorological consultant at WeatherOptics. A recent graduate from Stony Brook University, Kathleen has earned her B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences. Previously, she has done research on the role of Atmospheric Rivers on Arctic Amplification and forecasted for local pages like SBU Weather.

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