Pattern Change Will Bring Heat Wave to the South, Rain and Cooler Temperatures in North and West in the Week Ahead

Linda Lam
Published: September 9, 2019

A shift in the weather pattern will continue a prolonged heat wave in the South, early-fall conditions across the northern tier and a return of cooler temperatures and some wet weather in the West.

Here's a closer look at what to expect in the week ahead.

Southern Heat Wave

It will still feel like summer across the South this week.

An upper-level ridge of high pressure will strengthen over the South. This will allow high temperatures to soar into the 90s and lower 100s from the southern Plains into the Southeast, generally about 5 to 15 degrees above average for early September.

Daily record-high temperatures are expected at times this week. A few cities that could approach daily records this week include Atlanta; Jacksonville, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; and New Orleans.

Naples, Florida, tied its all-time record-warm low temperature on Friday and Saturday, when the low only dipped to 85 degrees.

Vero Beach, Florida, tied its record for warmest high temperature for September with a high of 97 degrees on both Thursday and Friday. Orlando, Florida, tied its record for warmest low temperature for September with a low of 80 degrees on Thursday.

Several daily record highs were set on Friday, including in Austin, Texas, at Camp Mabry (103 degrees), Houston (99 degrees) and New Orleans (98 degrees). Daily record highs were also set on Saturday in Monroe, Louisiana (102 degrees), Houston (99 degrees – tie) and Miami (94 degrees). On Sunday, Austin, Texas, at Camp Mabry (102 degrees), New Orleans (99 degrees), Baton Rouge, Louisiana (98 degrees – tie), and Tallahassee, Florida (98 degrees – tie) tied or set new record highs for the date.


Forecast Highs

Dew points in the upper 60s and 70s will make it feel even hotter than what the thermometer shows, especially toward the Gulf Coast.

Low temperatures across the South will be in the 70s for most locations.

The heat will likely last into mid-September. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has highlighted most of the central and eastern states as having a 60 to 70% chance of experiencing above-average temperatures over the next two weeks.

(MAPS: 10-Day Forecast

Early-Fall Conditions Expected At Times in Northern Plains

A cool and wet weather pattern will grip parts of the northern Plains and upper Midwest through much of the week ahead.

Locally heavy rainfall is possible, and some areas of the northern Plains and upper Midwest may receive more than 3 inches of rainfall this week. A few strong to severe thunderstorms also cannot be ruled out.

Temperatures will also generally be near-to-below average through the week ahead in the northern Plains.


Forecast

Changes in the West

A southward dip in the jet stream, or upper-level trough, is developing over the West.

This change in the upper-level pattern will bring a break from the above-average temperatures that have dominated the region recently. August was one of the five warmest on record for several cities in the West, including Seattle, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Denver.

Temperatures will be near average for most of the Southwest and Rockies in the week ahead, while highs will be up to 15 degrees cooler than average for this time of year closer to the West Coast and for much of the Northwest.

Highs will top out in the 60s and 70s for most locations in the Northwest, Great Basin and along the immediate coast, while 80s and 90s are expected closer to the Southwest.


West Forecast

Moisture will also increase in the Southwest early this week, enhancing the chance for showers and thunderstorms. August was one of the driest on record for much of the Four Corners region, so this precipitation will be welcome in the region.

A couple of disturbances will also bring rain to parts of the Northwest and Rockies. Some snow could even mix in with rain in some of the higher elevations of the northern Rockies midweek.


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