For the past month or two an expansive and persistent ridge of high pressure has been in place across much of the Gulf Coast Region (along with most of the country).
This ridge has caused below average rainfall and above average temperatures to occur across the Gulf Coast Region for the duration of October, causing a drought to develop across the Southern US, including the Gulf Coast Region.
In fact, the drought is extreme across Northern Mississippi and Alabama, and exceptional in some locations in Northern Alabama.
This dry and warm weather pattern will persist through at least the next week.
However, there are indications that a significant pattern change will occur next week.
The ECMWF, along with it’s ensemble members (EPS), are forecasting the ridge of high pressure that has been locked in place over much of the country to break down by mid to late week next week, allowing a strong trough to dig into the Central and Eastern United States.
If the ridge breaks down next week, and a strong trough does dig into the Central and Eastern U.S. ( which is looking increasingly likely at this point); it will bring an end to the above temperatures and dry conditions that have plagued the Gulf Coast Region, and allow seasonal temperatures and stormy weather to return.
We can’t say for certain that the ridge will breakdown, or if the strong trough will materialize, or potential impacts (rain, severe weather, below average temperatures) yet. However, at this point we can say that it is looking more likely than not that both will materialize.
We will have another update out on Wednesday regarding this potential.