First cool front of fall finally on the way

Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 5, 2019

By Skip Rigney

Shout it from the rooftops. Tell it in the grocery store lines. Post it on social media. A cool front is finally on its way.

Usually, people only talk about weather forecasts that predict the arrival of a major meteorological system that brings with it the threat of severe weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, or a hard freeze. I suspect that the cool front that is forecast to arrive on Monday will be the most talked about fair weather system in quite some time.

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That’s because, let’s face it, most of us have had enough heat for one summer. Even the most hardcore warm weather enthusiasts have to admit that summer has overstayed its welcome. September 2019 will go down in the record books as the hottest on record at many weather stations across a large swath of the United States.

The September 2019 average daily high temperature of 92.7 degrees at Mississippi State University’s South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville was the hottest since 1980. Before that you have to go all the way back to the 1920s to find hotter Septembers in Poplarville. Temperatures have continued to sizzle into October. This week New Orleans International Airport recorded the warmest October days in 73 years of keeping records.

Relief is on the way. On Friday a cold front in the northern Rockies was moving steadily southeastward. This leading edge of cool air is forecast to arrive in south Mississippi Monday or Monday night. All indications are that when we step outside on Tuesday morning we will be greeted by temperatures in the lower 60s, perhaps even the upper 50s by Wednesday morning. High temperatures in the upcoming week should be mainly in the 80s. That will be a cool change, but those temperatures are actually average for the second week of October.

Although some widely scattered showers have started popping up over the past couple of days, it has been so dry that on Wednesday Governor Bryant issued a state-wide burn ban. Very little rain has fallen across Mississippi or anywhere else in the southeastern United States during the last five weeks. The good news is that our rain chances will continue to increase ahead of the front. Rain amounts from a trace up to an inch are possible before the front arrives and ushers in cool, very low humidity air.