Steve’s Weather Blog (and Midday Forecast) – 09/22/2016

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Thursday, September 22, 2016

Today’s Weather

Welcome … to Fall 2016!

On this first day of Autumn, we begin again what is our standard Summer pattern here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast: isolated afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms with a few forming in marine areas and moving inland around sunrise each morning.

And, this seems a perfect opportunity to reacquaint you with the concept of Seasonal Lag. As defined, it means: the phenomenon whereby the date of maximum average air temperature at a geographical location on a planet is delayed until some time after the date of maximum insolation. This also applies to the minimum temperature being delayed until some time after the date of minimum insolation. An analogous temperature lag phenomenon occurs in diurnal temperature variation, where maximum daily temperature occurs after noon (maximum insolation).

In other words, it’ll be October before the last vestiges of Summer wane … at least here in southern Mississippi.

In the meantime, we’re going to have the same sort of weekend weather that we’ve had for the last few months. It’s next week that the pattern across the whole country will modulate and bring some sensible (in this case, meaning the weather you can see/feel) change.

Having said that, I have to admit: it’s a little far off to be close to accurate when talking about just how much change we’re talking about. How much cooler? How much rain? The crux of the forecast matter is the strong high pressure ridge over the eastern U.S.. It is not obvious to current model forecasts if this ridge will break down or move enough to allow frontal boundaries to pass through (or even near) our area. If the ridge takes a break, then we could see a frontal boundary move through, bringing showers and storms with some sort of cooldown, too.

We shall see.

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