It looks like the "Dog Days" of August are here, although there are subtle signs that at least some slight relief may be coming.
A MUGGY START
Thursday began quite muggy with lows in the 70s with some readings holding in the upper 70s. Natchitoches, Jonesville, Fort Polk, and Bellwood all saw a low temp of 78 degrees. Across the Alex./Pineville metro, Good Earth and D.G. Hunter saw the thermometer at 78 also. Thirty-year average mins during the first week of August usually run between 72 and 74.
ANOTHER HOT AFTERNOON
The muggy conditions of the morning led to even more sultry weather for the afternoon. However. a sizable difference in max temps existed across the TV 5 viewing area. The highest temperatures occurred in the northern and northwestern portions of central Louisiana. In that area, Winnfield hit the century mark while Natchitoches, Hagewood, Gum Springs, and Bellwood all hit 98 degrees. In contrast, Hardy Airport near Natchez, Miss. only reached 88 degrees. Simmesport and Opelousas maxed out at 91.
The observed pattern in Thursday's high temps reflect a change in the dominant upper high pressure cell that has plagued much of the central and southern U.S. with excessive heat. This hot high is shifting slowly westward and there was less influence over the eastern portions of the viewing area, hence, the lower max temps. This advertises a bit of a shift in the weather pattern as computer models forecast the high to continue its migration to the west into next week. This will turn the max temps down into the lower to middle 90s and will allow for higher daily rain chances.
BRUTAL HEAT IN OKLAHOMA
Speaking of hot weather, the same high pressure brought a possible all-time max temp to Oklahoma Wednesday. Freedom, in the northwest part of the state, was the hot spot with 121 degrees. This will be researched and, if verified, will eclipse the old record of 120 at Tipton on June 27, 1994.