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Great Summer Weather and Growing Drought

Good Saturday bloggers,

We are getting a nice break from the extreme humidity and thunderstorms as a surface high pressure sits over the western Great Lakes.  There will be thunderstorms this weekend in the region, but they will stay across the high Plains.

KANSAS CITY SECTION:

SATURDAY: The weather will be spectacular as we will have just a few clouds along with a light east-northeast breeze.  Highs will be in the low 80s.

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SATURDAY NIGHT-SUNDAY MORNING: Lows will be in the low 60s with 50s across central/northern MO to Iowa and Wisconsin.  A large cluster of thunderstorms will be located in western Kansas.  This cluster will track southeast staying well west of KC.  We will see some high clouds from the anvils of the thunderstorms.

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SUNDAY AFTERNOON:  Highs will be in the upper 70s to low 80s with the humidity still in check as we continue under the influence of a surface high pressure in the Great Lakes.  Highs will stay in the 70s if the clouds become thicker.  Regardless, another nice day.

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When is the next chance of thunderstorms?  There will be one to two chances between Wednesday night and Saturday.  Hopefully, they will not be as ferocious as what we have been dealing with in July.  The latest GFS has the best chance of thunderstorms on Friday.

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NATIONAL/CPH (CYCLING PATTERN HYPOTHESIS) SECTION:

When we made our summer forecast we said two main things.

1. Kansas City will reach 100° for the first time in 4 years.  Well, July 21 and 22 saw highs officially at 98° which were just the fourth and fifth times that occurred in the last five years.  It did reach 100° at the Olathe new Century airport and at the National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill, MO.  So, unofficially we were right.

2. There is a high likelihood of a drought, especially west of the Mississippi river.  Well, if you live in Kansas City it looks like a terrible forecast, but let’s take a closer look at the situation.

Here are the July rainfall totals for the KC area.  It is incredible as amounts in Johnson county range from about 10″ to 13″.  KCI has received 4.97″and 4.37″ of that occurred in the last week.  As you look a bit farther away, Lawrence was below average for the month with 3.23″ of rain.

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Let’s expand farther out again.  St. Joseph has received 1.72″ of rain while Kirksville, MO has not even received 1″.  Sedalia and Chillicothe were below average for July, but still a nice amount of rain.

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Let’s expand out one more time. Omaha, Des Moines and St. Louis have been quite dry with rainfall less than 1.50″ for the month of July.  Also, St. Louis reached 100° or higher, 7 days this month.  The highest was on July 22nd when St. Louis climbed to 108°!

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Here is the latest drought monitor.  As we look around the region, drought conditions are expanding across Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and eastern and southern Missouri.  You can clearly see the whole of non-drought conditions around Kansas City.

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When we look farther north, there is an extreme to exceptional drought across the Dakotas and Montana.

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So, when you look at the big picture, the forecast of a drought, mostly west of the Mississippi river is not too bad.  And, the worst of the drought is just one state away.

The next few days will see thunderstorms from Colorado to western Kansas and the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas.  The next thunderstorm chances for the western Corn belt (MN, IA, MO, eastern NE, eastern KS) are in 5-7 days.  It will be interesting to see of the rain targets the small area that does not need rain, or the growing areas that do need rain.  We are headed into soybean month and the rain would be welcomed in many locations.

Have a great weekend.

Jeff

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