WRUF Weather

Two Steps to Autumn: Drying Out, then Cooling Down

Fall is already in full force across most of the nation.  Floridians, however, have only had a brief hint of autumn so far, with temperatures only cooling off for a couple of days back in mid-September.  Tropical levels of humidity and periods of thunderstorms have been common lately, as summer-like weather just won’t seem to go away.  However, there are signs the winds of change are starting to blow in our direction.

Upper-level winds are shifting across much of the country this weekend, becoming more zonal (or flat) rather than meridial (buckled).  For nearly a week, the jet stream has dipped well into the Gulf of Mexico and scooped up plenty of moisture that has been aimed right at Florida.  At the same time, steering currents near the surface have been rather weak, allowing storms to develop and only slowly move across the state.

As we move into a new work week, jet stream winds will be stronger and mostly out of the west.  This should help to push much of the deeper moisture further south and allow drier, more continental air to move into North-Central Florida.  Dew points are expected to fall nearly ten degrees, a more comfortable level that seems long overdue.

The drier air will be offset somewhat by winds at the surface that will be coming in from the northeast and off the Atlantic Ocean.  This will eventually saturate the air enough to allow some cloud development and possibly a brief shower or two on Monday or Tuesday.  None of the potential rain next week, though, will be anything like what we’ve experienced over the past few days.

Along with the humidity, temperatures will also drop a bit as the drier air allows nighttime temperatures to cool more into the lower and middle 60s.  Outlying and rural locations that are well inland and far removed from the Atlantic Coast may even see a night or two where temperatures can cool into the 50s.

The Bottom Line

It will be noticeably cooler and drier next week, but not to the levels that many Floridians are hoping for.  Daytime highs will be falling into the lower and middle 80s, largely due to expected afternoon clouds, and overnight lows will fall into the lower and middle 60s, largely due to drier air…not necessary a cooler air mass.






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