Summer temps and humidity coming back strong

Published 10:09 am Saturday, September 17, 2022

By Skip Rigney

Well, it was nice while it lasted. The cooler mornings and lower humidity, I mean. But, summer doesn’t give up that easily, and it looks like it is coming back with a vengeance.

A frontal passage on Monday brought us our first noticeably midler and less muggy air mass since late May. Wednesday was our coolest morning behind the front when 57 degrees was recorded by the automated weather station at Picayune Municipal Airport.

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The northerly winds that blew in the good-feeling air have now veered around to the east and southeast, and are slowly returning higher humidity levels to south Mississippi this weekend. Today and Sunday, there may be enough humidity and heat around to bubble up some widely scattered showers, but no widespread or heavy rain is expected.

Monday through Wednesday rain chances will shrink to the slim-to-none level as high pressure several miles above the surface strengthens over the entire central United States and extends eastward across the Gulf South.

Not only will the sinking air associated with the upper-altitude high pressure suppress clouds and showers, sinking air means warming air. Above-normal heat is expected in the central U.S. from the Canadian border right down to the Gulf Coast.

High temperatures in Pearl River County are forecast to push into the lower and middle 90s in the upcoming week. That will be five or more degrees warmer-than-average for the third week of September. And with higher humidities, we could see the heat index flirting with 100 degrees.

As summerish as that sounds, it will be even more summerish far to our north closer to the center of the upper-altitude high pressure system. Consider the town of Dodge City, Kansas. You may know of Dodge City due to its actual historical significance in the Old West. Or, maybe, like me, you know of it because you watched hours and hours of the fabulous television series, Gunsmoke.

Regardless, the historical average high temperature in Dodge City, Kansas for September 18th is 83 degrees. National Weather Service forecasters in that city are predicting that Sunday the mercury will nudge 100 degrees.

That’s more than enough to send Festus and Doc to the Long Branch for some cool refreshment. If you don’t know who or what I’m talking about, I feel badly that you missed out on such a highlight of 1950s, 60s, and 70s television. Find yourself some Gunsmoke reruns, and immerse yourself in the Dodge City of yesteryear.

Tropical Storm Fiona is forecast to pass near Puerto Rico this weekend. At this point, the storm is irrelevant to south Mississippi, and is likely to stay that way. Even as Fiona moves closer during the coming week, the upper-altitude high pressure system that will be giving us our hot weather is expected to block the storm from getting into the Gulf of Mexico. Fiona will likely feel the tug of a trough of low pressure to its north and begin to slowly take a right turn. Happily for us, the fish of the North Atlantic are much more likely to encounter Fiona than those of us in the Gulf South.