Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunny, Warm Weekend

Things are shaping up to be beautiful outside this weekend. Temperatures in the 90s are warm, no doubt, but with less humidity in the forecast, i think it's safe to say people are much more comfortable.

Last week, with our summer heat wave and temperatures in the 90s, heat indicies flew into the triple digits, rendering some people useless without AC (myself being one of them!). Now as we approach August, July's scorching hot temperatures are behind us, and hopefully we can make a recovery into near average temperatures once again. For now, however, we're looking at at least the upper 80s if not low 90s for the first week of the new month.

Speaking of July's heat... We have secured the record for second hottest July on the books, but it looks unlikely now that temperatures will suffice for us to knock off the first place leader and have the hottest July ever recorded.

For now, stay cool and enjoy the last day of the second hottest July!

Friday, July 29, 2011

It's Almost August!

Not that i'm living under a rock, but i made the realization this afternoon that in just three short days, we'll be saying 'Good-Bye July, Hello August!'

So after a month of record breaking heat and rain, i think we'd all agree that August can be as tame as it wants and no one will complain. A nice fellow called back to the Weather Center this morning asking about the overall trend and how things will change as the rest of the summer progresses, so i did a little research and found some answers.

Last year, August only saw 5 days in the 90s. So far this July, we've had 18!

The hottest day last August was the 29th with a temperature of 93 degrees. (The coolest was 8/27; 49°). This July, we've had temperatures exceed 100° once and reach the upper 90s and handful of times.

We saw 7 instances of rain last August, none of which exceeded an inch. This July we've had 6 days of rain, the most occuring on the 22nd with 1.26 inches in less than 24 hours.

Overall, records set for the month of August are as follows:

Highest temperature for the month was recorded in 1918. It was 103 degrees.

Lowest? 39° in 1964.

Now, according to the Climate Prediction Center Outlook, a study issued this month says the combined climate of August/September/October is likely to be slightly above average. Studies indicate this fall may start late, prolonging warmer temperatures from July into August, and maybe even breaking some records along the way.

Of course this is all preliminary data, but it's interesting to read up on some of these studies and then watch how things unfold. In my opinion, this July has set us up for an interesting August. July's big heat, humidity, and dry/wet spells may lead us into another summer month with more of the same.

I guess we'll all just have to wait and see!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Now That's A Lot of Rain!

Rainfall recorded at the Dubuque Regional Airport totals over ten inches in less than 24 hours! With thunderstorms beginning at 7PM yesterday, the rain barely let up for more than a few minutes at a time.

[caption id="attachment_2087" align="alignnone" width="246" caption="Over 10'' in less than 24 hours"][/caption]

According to forecasters from the Quad Cities National Weather Service, the current rain totals have exceeded daily records and resulted in a new all time wettest July record for that region.

And it doesn't stop there. Areas of convection and low level convergence are likely to bring even more rain into the region before things finally taper off and move on tomorrow and into the weekend.

Stay Dry Iowans!

Rainy Thursday/Friday

Hot, Hazy, Humid... And now rainy too!

After much discussion with fellow Meteorologist Ryan Wichman, we've come to the agreement that today's temperatures need to be adjusted slightly. With convection spreading in and around our area, the chance of storms is dominant throughout the day today, as well as tomorrow. Keeping that in mind, temperatures yesterday only reached 84 degrees. By 11AM today, temperatures had reached 82 degrees already, so i'm confident in putting 88 for today's high, while maintaining the chance of showers.

It's common practice to adjust forecasts based on previous data, but as Chief Meteorologist Robert Shiels would say, each forecast is it's own independent story. For that reason, i'm looking at today's data with fresh eyes, and forgetting why and how things developed the way they did yesterday.

At the very least, we'll expect plenty of clouds and rain today. Non-severe showers may provide us with heavy rain at times (Iowa received over 14'' in less than 24 hours!), but besides a little extra water on the ground, it doesn't raise much reason for concern.

We'll leave the haze behind us this weekend. As a high pressure system builds into the area, Saturday and Sunday both look picture perfect with temperatures near 90 and much drier weather.

For now, TGIT. Enjoy your day :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One for the Record Books

As Chris mentioned in his previous post, this July is shaping up to be one of the warmest on record. Beaten out so far only by the 79.0 degree July in 1921, 2011's July has packed a real punch in the heat department. After doing a bit of research into some climatological data, here's what i've found.

July, 2011

Two record highs were recorded. On July 2nd, our high temperature of 98 degrees surpassed the old record of 97 degrees set back in 1911. The second record set this month occurred on the 21st with a temperature of 102 degrees, beating out the old record of 99 degrees set back in 1930. We also tied the 1942 record of 96 degrees on July 18th.  

Beyond that, i did a little number crunching. For us to achieve the record of the hottest July ever recorded, temperatures would have to remain in the upper 80s during the day and upper 60s over night. The average temperature for the month is taken by adding together all temperatures (both highs and lows) and dividing by the total, so I worked out things to an exact number for us to achieve the record.

Bear with me :)

Using 62 data points (or 31 days, high and low) the magic number we need to reach is 4898/62 = 79.0 degrees

I just figured that out by adding together all the highs and lows so far this month, and estimating the temperatures for the remaining days.

Right now the monthly # is at 4101, so we need to come up with 797 degrees total over the course of the next 5 days.

Figure everyday was a 90 degree day with lows in the low 70s.

July 27: High 90 Low 70

July 28: High 90 Low 70

July 29: High 90 Low 70

And so on... So we get this:  (90*5) + (70*5) = 800

800 would be enough to surpass the old record, bringing the total degree points up to 4901. Now of course it's not likely that things will happen exactly that way, but if you take a look at my 7-day, i'm forecasting something similar.

Anyways, regardless of if the record is broken, i think we can all agree that this has been a very hot month!

Stay Cool!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Warmest July on Record?

I've been keeping tabs on it, and yes we are 0.1° off of a tie for the warmest July on Record!  As it stands now, we are 2nd all  time with a monthly average temperature of 78.9°.

I'll keep you updated as July comes to a close!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Record Heat Wave Ends

The record heat wave has come to and end...for now at least! More on when it will return in just a minute. We did rack up 9 consecutive days of 90° or warmer that covered a stretch from Saturday July 16th through Sunday July 24th. While it was a persistent and impressive heat wave it did fall 2 days short of a tie for 11 consecutive days at 90° or warmer in August of 1959.

What remains amazing is that the total 90° days this month now stands at 17 (with several more in the forecast!). This means that roughly 70% of days so far this month have been 90° or warmer! In fact, July of 2011 will likely be one of the warmest on record.

1. 79.0 1921
78.9 2011* unofficial
2. 78.6 1916
3. 78.3 1955
4. 77.8 1931
5. 77.6 2002
6. 77.6 1949
7. 77.6 1935
8. 77.5 1901
9. 77.4 1934
10. 77.3 1999

We currently rank 2nd on the list for all time warmest July's and I expect more heat is in store later this week. Here's why. The recent heat wave has not "moved on" it has only been suppressed back south for a short time. The dominant ridge anchored over the southern plains and the southeast will hold its ground sending the jet stream back north into Canada allowing a hot, humid zonal flow in the atmosphere (Generally a west to east flow). This should bring temperatures back into the 90s by Wednesday and remain there until at least the beginning of the weekend.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

July Weather Extremes

The recent heat wave and dry streak are both being washed away with thunderstorms and heavy rains. The past two days have brought almost 2" of rain to the toledo area (officially 1.83"). This has nearly erased the monthly rainfall deficit for July and helped ease persistent dry weather from June.

The recent rain has not dampened the fact that July may end as one of the warmest on record (currently tied for the 2nd warmest all time). The monthly average temperature up to this point is 78.6°. This is +5.6° Above Normal! In addition, we are on a streak of 8 consecutive days of high temperatures 90° or warmer. The all time record for consecutive 90° days is 11 set in August of 1959.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A New Record...And We're Not Alone!

Thursday was the warmest day in over 16 years for Toledo setting a new record record high...102 degrees!

We weren't alone with record highs either:
Detroit: 100 degrees
Cleveland: 97 degrees

The final total had 55 cities breaking records and nearly 60 additional cities registering a tie for a record high across the Great Lakes and Ohio River Valley. Today the ridge of high pressure, or "heat dome", begins to shift up the eastern seaboard.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Record Breaking Heat Wave

Highs today will soar into record highs for many areas in the Great Lakes Region. An impressive ridge in the jet stream has brought a persistent heat and muggy conditions across much of the United States. The weak atmospheric flow has allowed this pattern not only to develop, but intensify and remain anchored in place.

Slowly this ridge shifts the heat to the east, but until then dangerous heat will remain for our area through Friday. Up to this point in the month, the average temperature has been 77.8 degrees which is 4.8 degrees above normal. The number of 90 degree days or warmer continue to stack up, so far 14 days have been recorded so far! Stay Cool!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Major Heat Wave -- Record Highs

We are in the midst of a major heat wave, scorching the area with what soon could be temperatures that top 100 degrees! The dangerous combination of heat and humidity will push heat index values to 110 degrees and beyond. So when was the last time the Glass City had a temperature of 100 degrees or warmer? Try over a decade ago!

Here are some tips to help you try and beat the heat:

I am expecting more record highs this week, especially on Thursday. The old record, of 99 degrees will likely be eclipsed by tomorrow's expected high which will exceed 100 degrees! Stay cool everyone!