Issued: 4pm on Thursday, August 17th 2023
Technical Forecast Discussion
Short-term (Thursday Night 8/17/2023 through Sunday 8/20/2023):
A strong trough is expected to push through the region tonight into tomorrow morning, bringing with it a cold front that will bring chances for showers and thunderstorms, some of which could be severe, as outlined by the Storm Prediction Center in the Marginal Risk (1/5). The severe threat is only for damaging wind gusts. CAPE values are only marginal around or below 500 J/kg, but stronger DCAPE values around 800 J/kg shown on model soundings suggest the marginal threat of damaging wind gusts with some stronger showers and thunderstorms. Thankfully, the severe threat should diminish significantly just before and around sunset due to the lack of daytime heating, which is around when storms are expected to move into the Athens area, meaning more than likely just showers and thunderstorms for tonight.
After the passage of this cold front, a strong upper-level high-pressure ridge is going to build over the central U.S. and is expected to bring hot conditions to our region and a lack of precipitation. Downstream of this ridge, a surge of PVA indicates rising heights, giving support for a sharp rise in temperatures heading into the end of the weekend. Temperatures are currently expected to hit the low 90s. Accompanied by the sinking air and upper-level convergence on the right exit region of the upper-level jet streak, there is lots of synoptic assistance for the high-pressure system to become stronger with this setup.
Long-term (Monday 8/21/2023 through Thursday 8/24/2023):
Much of the long-term forecast looks to remain the same. The high-pressure system will dominate the region, continuing hot and dry conditions. This is also detailed by the CPC 6-10 Day Temperature and Precipitation Outlook, showing our region being above average in temperature for this time of the year and below average in precipitation. Monday and Tuesday, temperatures look to continue into the low- to mid-90s, and to make things more uncomfortable, dew points potentially into the 70s are expected as more moisture moves in from the north. This will cause the potential for some heat concerns as heat indices are currently forecast to reach the mid-90s and could be higher as more mid- to short-term model guidance comes out. Additionally, due to the placement of the upper-level trough, a stationary front is anticipated to form over the Great Lakes, and the high pressure will potentially pull a cold front into the region from the east. This cold front, thankfully, is expected to be rather weak and not cause any concern for severe weather at this time. Temperatures are expected to continue to climb throughout the rest of the long-term forecast, so be on the lookout for possible heat advisories during this time.
Friday-Sunday: Decreasing clouds early on Friday, very warm and clear weather through the weekend.
Sunday-Wednesday: Increasing temperatures and dewpoint temperatures, increasing the probability of Heat Advisories due to hot temperatures and heat indices.
Thursday: Hot weather continues with no precipitation expected.