After a cold start, much warmer this week

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, October 31, 2017

By Skip Rigney

Saturday’s cold front ushered in the coldest air so far this fall, but a warming trend is underway that will bring us back to near 80 degrees beginning Wednesday and through the rest of the week.

Trick-or-treaters should have nearly perfect Halloween weather to conduct their candy-seeking missions this evening.

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The goblins, ghosts, and other costumed impersonators who start their neighborhood wanderings in the late afternoon will encounter temperatures in the low to middle 70s.

Under clear skies the heat that was gained from Tuesday’s bright sunshine will begin to be lost after sundown.

But higher humidities return today on southerly winds. The more moist the air, the slower the heat loss, so that temperatures will still be in the middle 60s by 9 p.m.

The only fly in the ointment for tonight’s trick-or-treaters could be the development of some fog with the increasing moisture and evening temperatures.

Regardless, Halloween night will be considerably warmer than the nights over the weekend when we were in the heart of an unusually cold air mass that overspread the central and eastern U.S.

Sunday’s and Monday’s early morning temperatures in the county dove into the 30s for the first time since last spring on March 16th.

That was much colder than normal for late October. Historical records show that 95% of the time our lows this time of year range from the mid-40s to mid-50s.

As the frontal zone pushed through late Friday and early Saturday several bands of light showers left behind rainfall totals of less than one-quarter of an inch.

Overall for October this year there was a wide range in the monthly rainfall for October in Pearl River County.

The southeast half of the county was wetter than average with five to six inches of rain in places such as Salem and Ceasar.

The monthly totals decreased westward and northward across the county to drier-than-average with only two to three inches for the month in communities such as Cybur in the west and Hillsdale in the north.

Another front is forecast to be draped across central Mississippi today, but won’t have much impact on our weather.

By Wednesday that front is predicted to fade from the weather map. We will spend the rest of the week on the western side of an area of high pressure.

The circulation around the ridge of high pressure will mean mostly southerly winds for the remainder of the week.

Those winds will bring increasing moisture into the region from the Gulf of Mexico.

Some passing disturbances in the upper atmosphere are predicted to provide enough lift to the moist air to give us about a 30 percent chance of showers beginning Wednesday all the way through Friday night. 

But, of course, that means that there is approximately a 70 percent chance of staying dry during that period.

High pressure strengthens over the weekend and into early next week further increasing our chances of staying dry and relatively warm with highs in the 80s and lows in the 60s.

Put those heavy sweaters and jackets back in the closet for now.