Yesterday marked the 39th time that the San Antonio International Airport has endured triple-digit temperatures in 2011 with a high of 102º.
No changes are expected in the forecast today, or in the short term, as the setup remains the same. The same upper level ridge which has dominated the weather all summer long will remain centered over the region the next several days.
This will suppress any opportunity for rain. As a result, expect temperatures to surpass 100º for the 40th time this year, with a high temperature expected to reach 102º once again. Similar temperatures should prevail this weekend and through at least the first half of next week.
The forecast becomes a bit more complicated next week as there are indications that the current weather pattern will change. Computer models show the upper level ridge losing its grip over South-Central Texas as the center of the ridge moves westward. Winds aloft will come from the north driving any weather system that develops southward into the region. Additionally, the shift in the winds means that a cold front could make it down into the area late next week. That could open the door for slightly cooler temperatures and the possibility for some scattered showers and thunderstorms.
Tracking the Tropics
Computer models show a tropical disturbance, currently over the central Atlantic, will organize and potentially become a hurricane within the next week. As of this morning, the National Hurricane Center has flagged this storm with a medium (30%) chance of becoming a tropical cyclone within the next 48 hours.
There is huge disagreement between computer model solutions with some models showing a hurricane making landfall along the Southeastern US Coastline, and other models showing this storm entering the Gulf of Mexico. The path of this storm will be highly dependent on the development of a trough over the eastern parts of the United States. If the trough digs far enough south and east, the storm will gain latitude quickly and impact areas further east. However, if the trough is weaker than anticipated, then the storm could move into the Gulf of Mexico making impacting areas in the northern or eastern parts of the Gulf of Mexico.
At this time, it does not appear as if this storm will approach the Texas coast as the upper level steering currents will deflect any system in the Gulf towards the north and east.
Another area in the tropics that is active is in the Caribbean Sea near the Central American coast. Tropical Depression 8 formed last night, and is expected to primarily affect Honduras, Nicaragua, and eventually Guatemala. Heavy rain from Tropical Depression 8 could bring disastrous and life-threatening floods and mudslides to the mountainous regions in the area.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic, there is another tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa that also has the potential to organize into a tropical cyclone. Preliminary indications are that this storm will organize into a tropical storm or hurricane, but recurve and remain over the open waters of the Atlantic.
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