This unprecedented heat wave looks to continue across Acadiana for the foreseeable future.
A hot weekend is expected with highs in the 102-104 degree range. Rain chances will once again remain negligible, worsening the drought situation by the day. With southwesterly winds returning, heat index values will become a problem once again, getting into the 115-120 degree range.
A tropical wave will enter the Gulf this weekend, generally moving westward toward Texas. It will be steered westward by the monster ridge of high pressure to our north, which has been giving us this record heat. Earlier in the week, some models, namely the European model, were giving us some hope to get some rainfall from this system. The European model, which was the most aggressive in giving us some much-needed rainfall, now has the high pressure winning out, shifting the tropical wave, and its rainfall, further to the south towards Texas. This is more in line with the GFS model, which has consistently shown this feature moving into South Texas. Weak tropical development is possible with this system, especially as it nears the coast next Tuesday. Regardless of development, it will bring some much-needed rainfall to someone. Unfortunately, that someone may not be us. I’ll keep a generous 30% rain chance in the forecast on Monday, but that may be pushing it. Any rain that does form Monday or Tuesday will be close to the coast.
Beyond this timeframe, heading into the middle and end of next week, the ridge of high pressure may give us its most punishing blow yet. Models have been consistent in giving us high temperatures of 105-110 degrees next Wednesday and Thursday. The GFS model has been insanely too hot all summer and it’s following that same trend for next week. However, the more reliable and more believable European model even shows highs of 107 and 106 degrees Wednesday and Thursday respectively. If these numbers verify, it would challenge all-time record highs for Lafayette. The hottest temperature ever recorded in Lafayette was 107 degrees back in 2000. This number would be in jeopardy Wednesday and Thursday. As of now, I’ll go with a more conservative high of 105 degrees for both days, but don’t be surprised if that number has to be revised upwards through the next few days.
The Tropical Atlantic is starting to wake up with four distinct tropical waves being monitored by the National Hurricane Center.
The one closest to us is the aforementioned wave entering the Gulf next week. The other three are currently positioned in the Atlantic. None of these are an imminent threat to the Gulf of Mexico, but don’t be surprised if we have 2-3 named systems in the Atlantic through the next week.