Hot weather will continue in the Sarasota-Manatee area, but the morning mugginess could be going away.
SARASOTA — You're not dreaming, the overnight lows in the Sarasota-Bradenton area are warmer. They average low has risen 5.4 degrees since 1970 because of climate change, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Regional Climate Centers.
Couple that with typically hot July weather, the mornings have been extremely muggy with an average low in August of 77.4 degrees.
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"We have been waking up to the 80s," says Marco La Manno, a meteorologist at SNN-TV. "The temperatures can't get below the dew point."
The moisture and precipitation in the air being toted by westerly winds over the area will continue to bring high chances of rain in the morning, but the pattern is expected to shift this weekend and an easterly flow could take over next week.
"It's going to moderate the humidity and overnight lows will come down to the mid-70s," La Manno said. "There will be a higher chance of afternoon storms, and lower the chance of morning storms."
While the drier morning air will be a relief, afternoon highs close to the 90s for the 10 days could offset the reprieve.
"The humidity coming down a bit is the most noteworthy thing," La Manno said.
After 13.92 inches of rain in July, a slightly above-average rainfall of 4½ inches this month has led to flood watches and warnings on the Peace River at Arcadia, Bartow and Zolfo Springs, and at Myakka River State Park.
The National Weather Service reports the Myakka and Peace rivers will remain in flood stage through the end of the week, then begin falling. A flood watch is in effect until Aug. 16 for Sarasota and Manatee counties.
A flood warning is also in effect on the Little Manatee River at Wimauma. Flooding at Myakka Head on the Manatee River has subsided since the end of July, and the water there is now about 3 feet below flood stage at 7.99 feet.
Following NOAA's recent prediction of a weaker El Nino and an above average hurricane season, there have been no tropical waves to report.
While the Eastern Pacific basin has been busy with eight named storms, there have been two in the Atlantic basin and Gulf Coast.
The eerie silence is partly because of high wind shear in the Caribbean region and dry air thwarting development over the Atlantic.
"Short term we still don't look like we will see anything for the next week," La Manno said. "It's a little surprising, but it's how its playing out at the moment."
The improved Global Forecasting System — also known as the American model — shows the possibility of activity close to the end of the month. The more consistent European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and Canadian models do not show tropical development.
"We are mostly seeing regular showers and storms near the equator," La Manno says.