It’s not summer yet, but it’s getting there.
The daily high temperature’s starting to spike, lately rising from its historical average of about 85 degrees and crossing into the 90s, with increased humidity making sweat bead on the brow and trickle down the back.
That’s the way the weather has been for the past few days, and for a few days before that.
So enjoy today, as it may be the exception: If today’s predicted high of 81 degrees comes true, this not only will be coolest day this week, but the coolest day Columbus has had since May 10, when the high, according to the online weather service AccuWeather.com, was 78 degrees.
AccuWeather’s records and forecasts for May show that come Memorial Day, 20 of May’s 31 days will have had high temperatures 3 degrees or more above average. Only three days have been cooler than normal, and eight days by month’s end will have been about average. Folks here in the Columbus area can expect highs from around the 85-degree average up to the low 90s Wednesday through Memorial Day, according to the current forecast. The weekend highs are expected to be 5 degrees or more above average.
What’s bringing in the heat?
“We’re having this very persistent ridge of high pressure over the central U.S., and it keeps drawing warm air up out of the gulf and out of Mexico, and really pulling it into the central U.S. and back into the Southeastern U.S.,” said Rob Handel, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service station in Peachtree City, Ga. “It’s really only up in New England and the northeast that’s a little bit cooler.”
Here’s the National Weather Service forecast for Columbus through Memorial Day:
-- A 30-percent chance of rain and thunderstorms today, high near 81, east wind 10 mph, gusting up to 15 mph. A 30-percent chance of rain before 2 a.m. tonight, low 64, east wind 5 mph.
-- A 20-percent chance of rain and thunderstorms after 2 p.m. Wednesday, high 87, east-northeast wind 5-10 mph, gusting up to 15 mph. A 10-percent chance of rain before 8 p.m. that evening, overnight low 64, northeast wind 5 mph.
-- Mostly sunny, high 90, calm wind turning north at 5 mph. Partly cloudy, low 67 Thursday night.
-- A 20-percent chance of rain Friday, high 94. Mostly cloudy, low 70 that night.
-- A 20-percent chance of rain Saturday and Saturday night, high 93, low 69.
-- A 20-percent chance of rain Sunday and Sunday night, high 90, low 69.
-- A 20-percent chance of rain Monday, party cloudy, high 92.