Memorial Day weekend (aka The Unofficial Start To Summer) is fast approaching. The weather leading up to this weekend will definitely have a very summer-like feel to it with lots of sunshine and highs in the upper 80’s to near 90!! Humidity will also start to increase by the end of the week, and that could lead to a few late day showers and t-showers just about anywhere across North Georgia. Something to keep in mind if you are having an outdoor event of some kind.
Something else to keep in mind especially if you are headed to the Atlantic Coast is the possibility of a rather weak coastal or tropical low developing somewhere near the Georgia coast, sometime over the weekend or early next week. Two medium range models that we use are hinting at the possibility, although they differ a bit in their timing.
Both the GFS and the ECMWF show coastal lows developing off the GA/SC coast this coming weekend. The GFS is a little bit quicker and has a low parked off of the Georgia coast late Saturday night.
The ECMWF on the other hand doesn’t have much happening Saturday night , but does indicate wind and rain along the GA/SC coast.
The ECMWF gets better organized on Sunday with a well defined low developing off of the SC coast.
The good news is that there are many days between now and then, so if something does show signs of developing you will know about it.Although the low would probably be fairly weak, it would be enough to mess up your plans if you are headed that way for the weekend.
Another big week on the way next week with plenty of graduation ceremonies, and the start of summer for the kids. So it would seem imperative that the weather cooperate, and lo and behold it looks like it will. Not only will the week be dry, but warm as well. In fact warm may be an understatement. Highs could be back into the mid to upper 80’s.
In fact some of the warmest air so far this spring. As far as rain goes…..don’t see much of that happening at all barring a pop up shower or t-shower.
As with all long range forecasts take them with a grain of salt, although this one appears to need a little less salt than some others in the past.
So will it be a hot summer? That is something we get asked all the time, so I thought I would try to lend some insight to the issue. Keep in mind there are many factors that can and will influence the outcome of the Summer of 2016, but I though it would be fun to just look at it from an El Nino or lack thereof point of view.
First off I compared the El Nino of this past year with the one that occurred in 1997-1998. They are very similar in strength, in fact two of the strongest on record. Here is a table showing the strength of the El Nino as represented in red numbers for all the years since 1997.
Both episodes 1997-1998 & 2015-2016 almost mirror each other except with the fact that the El Nino started two months earlier this go around. Assuming that all goes as planned this years El Nino should go neutral soon and then reverse into a La Nina pattern heading through the summer (blue numbers with negative values). This would correlate with the summer of 1998 which started to shift out of an El Nino in May.
So what was the summer of 1998 like here in Atlanta? Quite hot and dry except for August which turned out wetter and cooler than normal. So if we just went with the El Nino alone then one would assume that this summer should be hot and dry with more than our share of 90 degree days. In fact during the summer of 1998 there were 42 days during June, July and August where the high temperature was 90 degrees or better. The average is 37 days.
With all the above normal temperatures that we have had lately anything close to normal will seem cool, and that is exactly what we have in store for the rest of this week. In fact by Thursday our high temperatures across north Georgia will only climb into the low to mid 60’s! Luckily warmer air and sunshine will return for the weekend with highs by Mother’s Day climbing back into the low 80’s.
Looking ahead to the following week it looks like near normal, or just slightly above normal temperatures can be expected here across the Southeast.
Much of the West Coast will remain well above normal with cooler than normal temperatures expected from Texas to the Great Lakes.
Along with the warm weather that we have had recently it has also been very dry. That looks to change at least for next week. The 6-10 day precipitation forecast is calling for above normal rainfall in a large area from Texas to the Southeast north to the Ohio Valley.
This would certainly help to alleviate the dry conditions across north Georgia that have developed in the recent months. In fact much of the area is classified as either abnormally dry or in moderate drought.