Storm risks grow on a hot holiday weekend

Temperatures run toward 90°, but an approaching front makes it a little too interesting for those backyard barbecues. We'll take a look at the tailgating weather too.

Good Friday morning everyone!

Getting ready for an extended Labor Day Weekend are we? Well, first up is definitely the heat, though we have already had a few dalliances with it and its dance partner 'humidity' these past few days. Hopefully that means we can focus more on enjoying a rain-free day rather than worrying about the precautions we need to take. It's the weather beyond today that's the issue.

HPC - Surface Map - Friday Afternoon

The approaching low-pressure system isn't that strong, but neither was the weak front that passed through on Wednesday night (and remember what that was able to generate in places like Ashland, Ironton, and Sutton). Anyway, this system's first influence is mainly to channel the heat our way, but then on Saturday we'll be talking about isolated storms late in the day.

NAM - Saturday Afternoon

With a steady fetch of dew points in the 70s and highs near 90, it's no wonder we'll be watching for scattered storms to pop in the mid-afternoon (right in the middle of tailgating for the Marshall game). WVU fans have a slight edge considering their game begins at noon-- but still a good idea to consider a plan for rain when the game ends. Since the actual front won't be crossing at this time, these storms will be of the scattered variety only occupying a smaller part of the day. If you can hack the potential half-hour power-shower, you'll be ready.

Sunday increases the prevalence of storms, so we'll be dodging drops there too (usually favoring the afternoon). All backyard barbecuers would do well to download the free WSAZ Weather App to keep tabs on where the storms are (or of course follow along this blog with the tracking maps at the end below).

Labor-Day Monday may end up being where the risks of storms (even strong ones) is the highest. That's when the actual front comes through but at the same time a good push of colder, drier air follows. This sets up a contrast and clash of air masses that typically forms a great breeding ground for thunderstorms. The GFS explains it well:

Notice the dry air at the 700mb level (Relative Humidities less than 10% at 10,000 feet) that follows the front which passes through Monday afternoon/evening. The bad news is that we'll have to put up with thunderstorms to get to it, but the good news is that it really will usher in some of the finest weather early autumn offers.

From near 90 to the mid and upper 70s-- now that's my kind of improvement! Would-be campers: If at all possible, you'll love the weather mid-week next week compared to what you'll have to deal with over the Labor Day weekend itself. That may be no consolation for long laid plans, but I'm just tossing it out there nonetheless :-)

Enjoy your holiday weekend-- it's the "last" Live on the Levee for the year, the "last" county fair of the summer for the tri-state, etc. etc. When we get to September, it will be feeling like it!

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Have a great day everyone!

-B

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