What has seemed like a never changing weather pattern for much of the month of June will remain locked in over the region through the weekend.
A high pressure ridge that has been meandering about the region, shifting and expanding, helping to decrease and increase rain chances will likely expand and strengthen across the state again over the next several days.
This will mean temperatures in the mid and upper 90s instead of the low and mid 90s with the possibility of more dangerous heat indices near or over 105 through the weekend and early next week, which could prompt more Heat Advisories across parts of the state. In a matter of fact, the National Weather Service has gone ahead and issued an Heat Advisory for the Mississippi Gulf Coast Counties including the cities of Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula until 7 pm CDT on Friday. This could be extended and or expanded through the weekend.
This Heat Advisory is as result of expected temperatures in the mid 90s combined with high humidity levels, which could produce heat index readings or real feel temperatures on the skin between 103 and 108 degrees this afternoon and Friday afternoon with warmer urban areas possibly near 110 degrees. A heat index of 105 degrees is considered the level where many people begin to experience extreme discomfort or physical stress.
The building and strengthening ridge over the region will also limit the chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms, though a chance of isolated storms will exist each day.
It has been a hot month so far with high temperatures for the last 10 days across much of the state in the low and mid 90s with a few days in the upper 90s, which is not that unusual. June of 2009 was one of the hottest and driest months of June on record across parts of Central and Southern Mississippi including the capital city of Jackson.
June 2010 temperature trends for select locations around Mississippi
The chance of afternoon/evening cooling thunderstorms over the next several days will depend on the position and strength of the ridge and outflow boundaries and disturbances that may move across the state.
Today, with parts of Northern Mississippi on the periphery of the ridge, afternoon and evening thunderstorms are more likely across this area, of which a few could become severe with damaging winds over 60 mph as the main threat. The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of Northern Mississippi under a risk for severe storms.
It is extremely important to be weather conscious near or around thunderstorms that may develop as this is the most dangerous time of year for lightning. Three people have recently died from lightning related injuries over the past 24 hours in 3 states.
If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.
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