The wildfire smoke will become especially thick at times this week. It will be thick enough to continue to shave off degrees from our temperature.
In the meantime, it looks very thick tomorrow, especially late morning to afternoon. The extent of thick smoke across the Lower 48 & Alaska & over Canada is very impressive.
This will do a lot to reflect sunlight, given that this is largely pine, spruce, fir forest burning (along with prairie grass), which is sooty smoke.
This is going to cut temperatures by 5-10 degrees across the Midwest & Plains from what they would be without the smoke.
The smoke Wednesday looks especially thick, as well.
Hourly fire potential is through the rook over the western U.S. early this week. Interestingly, you can see in the areas of D0 or Abnormally Dry conditions in Virginia the elevated fire risk. Also, the Extreme Drought in far nothern Illinois to Wisconsin supports some risk, while fires are burning in northern Minnesota in the Severe to Extreme Drought conditions
The hot upper ridge will only expand & migrate east-southeastward over the next few days. The heat with it for our area will peak next week.
We have a nasty situation shaping up in which the hottest temperatures of the upper ridge's heat wave here correspond with the highest dew points of the summer as very humid air from transpiring corn, lush vegetation & moist soils tends to get trapped. This will send our dew points to 76-81. Combine that with potential highs of 94-99 & the stage is set for all-out dangerous heat for a few days with heat indices +107 to as high as 115.
I'd go hotter than 94-99 if not for the thick smoke, lush vegetation & moisture in the soils.
It looks like the "Ring of Fire" "Ridge Riders" or storm complexes with risk of a derecho will set up north & northeast of the area after Saturday & through next week.
However, I have seen renegade complexes or derechos like this actually go off the beaten path a hair & actually come in from the due north or northeast, trying to ride the absolute best instability gradient if they can overcome ridge capping. If they do that, the door is wide open for the boiling instability or CAPE & they cause widespread damaging winds.
We will monitor.
We are watching this Friday & Saturday for a couple of "Ring of Fire" "Ridge Riders" to impact the area.
We will be in a decent spot for one or two of these to impact part or all of the viewing area. Right now, it seems the northeast half has the been potential (Rensselaer to Buck Creek to Michigantown line), but we will monitor.
GFS model hints:
Hot upper ridge flattens, then shifts back to the west in response to strong upper trough swinging into area in early August.
This mean big change from intense heat to period of much cooler, pleasant weather.
Would should go from 90s to near 100 to 70s to 80 with overnight lows in the 50s.
In this transition, it appears that severe storms will be possible. It looks like one single squall line at this point ahead of the cold front with SLIGHT to ENHANCED RISK parameters seen. Smoke will be a forecast wildcard, but wind fields are good for a squall line.
We will monitor for any potential Progressive Derecho development, given suggested +3000 J/kg ML CAPE & presence of EML or dry layer upstream to grow a good cold pool for a line of storms.
Timing would tend to be August 2 or 3 when storms pass.
The pattern change shows up well in the upper level winds: