Break in humidity possible early next week

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 25, 2017

By Skip Rigney

Today and Wednesday will continue the humid dog days of summer, but subtle changes are forecast for later this week.

By early next week even bigger unusual changes for late July are possible as drier air could filter into south Mississippi.

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As usual for mid-summer, the huge Bermuda High Pressure system continues to cover most of the Atlantic Ocean from Florida all the way to Portugal in western Europe. A weak circulation of high pressure has broken off of the western end of the Bermuda High and is currently centered to our south over the Gulf.

The clockwise circulation around the high means that winds the rest of this week will be weakly from the west and northwest. But, don’t expect those northwest winds to bring any cooler temperatures. The air will have simply traveled from the warm western Gulf into hot Louisiana before arriving here in Pearl River County.

There is a 50 percent chance that a daytime or early evening scattered shower or thunderstorm will rain on your location today. Slightly drier air in the upper atmosphere will move over our region on Wednesday, and Thursday allowing only isolated showers on those afternoons.

As we head into the weekend the weather map becomes more interesting than it has been in several weeks.

Friday or Saturday a cool front is expected to creep into north Mississippi, an unusual event for late July in the Deep South. The air north of the front will be significantly less humid.

Early morning temperatures in north Mississippi might be cool enough for those folks to note the difference. Lows in places such as Tupelo and Grenada on Sunday morning are forecast to drop into the 60s for only the fifth time this July.

Meanwhile in central and south Mississippi, already high humidity will increase to even higher levels as water vapor piles up ahead of the slow moving front.

Abundant moisture in conjunction with enhanced lift ahead of the front will likely give us more numerous showers and thunderstorms sometime between Friday night and Sunday.

Will the front make it all the way through south Mississippi and push the humidity and rain out of the area into the Gulf? Is it possible that Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday evenings could be pleasantly dry and mild instead of uncomfortably sticky?

The predictions from the different computer weather models are likely to shift around over the next few days as the front gets closer to us. But for now, they indicate that there’s at least a chance that sometime between Sunday and Tuesday we could get our first break from sticky humidity levels since late June.

One thing is for sure. Even if a little less humid air does make it into south Mississippi, it won’t stay long. The same computer models that show a front near us on Sunday, show moist, humid air surging back northward out of the Gulf by the middle of next week.

And, even if there weren’t any computer models, you don’t have to have lived here too many summers to be confident that early August in south Mississippi is going to be hot and humid.