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Kansas City’s First Heat Wave Of The Summer Begins Soon

Good morning bloggers,

The streak continues.  There is a chance that it will actually reach 100 degrees later this week on Friday or Saturday, but there is also a reason that it has been almost four years since that number has been reached officially at Kansas City International Airport. It just is not that easy to do. The highest temperature ever recorded in Kansas City happened on August 14, 1936 when it reached 113 degrees.

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The National Weather Service has issued an Air Quality Alert for bad air pollution today near KC.  An EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING is also in effect:

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I usually take Sunny The Weather Dog everywhere with me if I get the chance, but not when it gets this hot. Even by 8 or 9 AM it is quite dangerous on days like this week where the sun is shining.  So, please remind your friends and family to be very conscious of this if they are traveling around even doing short errands. Kids and pets left in the car for short periods of time can be deadly.

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The hottest day of the year so far in Kansas City was last Wednesday:

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What is the chance we break this 1409 day streak later this week? I made this movie showing the chances of each high temperature:

Moving Thermometer Hottest Day POPS from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

There is a disturbance moving across the plains, near the Nebraska/Kansas border.  There is a weak disturbance that you can see in the clouds located just northwest of KC.  There is also a small complex of morning thunderstorms over southeastern Arizona that formed over the higher elevations in the monsoon areas. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for most of northern Arizona today.  The cloud cover over Omaha and Lincoln, NE will be monitored closely. Some of these clouds will move over the KC region and this is why the higher heat will more likely begin on Wednesday.

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Have a  great start to your day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience. You can leave your comment here or go over to Weather2020.com and comment over there. I will go over the latest data on 41 Action News.

Gary

The Monsoon Causes Deadly Arizona Flash Flood

Good morning bloggers,

The monsoon over the southwestern United States has become deadly.  At least nine people were killed in a horrific and very deadly flash flood yesterday in Arizona. Around an inch of rain fell in less than 30 minutes near this popular spot in Arizona.  A group of people from Phoenix and Flagstaff, Arizona had met for a day trip along a popular swimming hole near Payson, around 100 miles northeast of Phoenix.  They set up lounge chairs not knowing that a thunderstorm capable of producing the conditions for a flash flood had developed not that far away.  The rain from the thunderstorm was falling over an area that had a big wildfire recently and the lack of vegetation likely played into this disaster.   Around a 6-foot-high wall of water organized and collected dark ash from the ground influenced by the fire. The thunderstorm was likely visible and not that far away. And, the worse case scenario happened with the torrent of water crying nine people to their deaths.

Take a look at the developing pattern and the conditions for more monsoon thunderstorms this week:

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The Southwest Monsoon:

The southwestern United States monsoon, sometimes called the North American monsoon, or the New Mexican monsoon, or the Arizona monsoon is caused by a seasonal shift in the wind patterns aloft caused by the anticyclone, what I have called the “heat wave creating machine”.  During the summer months, usually by the end of June, the heights rise aloft and this anticyclone forms. The flow around this system causes thunderstorms to form over the mountains of Mexico. These drift northwest towards Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California.  Low level moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and the Gulf of California gets drawn in and the humidity actually rises at times over the deserts of the southwestern United States.  Thunderstorms are the result that are fueled by daytime heating and mountain lift (orographic lifting).  Disturbances often move west and then rotate around the anticyclone.  Eventually the jet stream will shift south by late August or September and the seasonal monsoon will come to an end as fall approaches.

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The tropics are also active off of the Mexico coast over the eastern Pacific Ocean.  Hurricane Fernanda has formed and there are two other systems that may form into tropical storms as well.

Farther north there is a monsoon disturbance moving out of eastern Colorado and into the plains. Take a look:

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This disturbance will at least bring a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms out over Kansas into western Missouri later Tuesday.  And, then that anticyclone will be building and we will make a run at 100 degrees by Friday.  Remember it has been almost 4 years since Kansas City at KCI Airport officially reached 100 degrees. This happened on September 8, 2013.  We will likely test this streak out later in the week.

Have a great day!!!! And, thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience. We have been having some great conversations over on the Weather2020 blog, so go over there and join in, or you can leave a comment here as well.

Gary

Summer Settles In Stronger

Good Sunday morning bloggers,

Summer is settling in a bit stronger. We will be discussing the jet stream strength in the next blog or two as the jet stream is about to reach its weakest average strength and farthest north position as we move into early August. Yesterday, Jeff clearly established and showed that the weather pattern is continuing to cycle regularly in the range that set up in October and November last year. We are in the fifth cycle currently.

We have a computer model that is being tested with some good results. Just like any model, there are ways to attempt improving the accuracy. We have made adjustments to the Cycling Pattern Model over the past few months adding in some additional factors.  The model should get “smarter” as we move through the cycles and blend cycles together.  The first forecast issued by our model for July came out as we had completed the first cycle and began moving into second cycle. This is the February projection (the middle forecast graph), a 5-month forecast. The first map below is our April update where we blended in two cycles. And, the third map is the forecast updated with some new factors added in, including the blending of all of the cycles:

July Heat Forecast1

July Forecast Made Janu

Kansas City July Forecast Cycle 4

This third forecast, the most recent one, shows the blue line (climatology, the averages), the orange line (the Cycling Pattern Forecast projection), and the green line which shows the verification.  Kansas City has now gone over 1,400 straight days without an official high of 100 degrees or higher (September 8, 2013).  We will be making a run at this elusive 100 degrees later this week and possibly again before the end of the month. There will also be one run at 100 degrees in August as well.

The chance of 100 degrees later this week:

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These two forecast maps from the GFS show that the “same” pattern continues to produce similar results. High humidity up the Kansas/Missouri state line has helped keep temperatures below 100 degrees near KC. It has hit over 100 degrees twice in the last week over St. Louis and west of Topeka, but not in the corridor near KC.  The top map shows low 90s Wednesday, and then close to 100 degrees by Friday.  It appears it may just fall short again, but it may be very close later this week.

There is also a weak upper level disturbance coming east across Kansas this week, but the chance of rain appears it will stay low. Have a great Sunday and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.

Gary

Tracking the “Heat Wave Creating Machine”

Good Saturday,

We are in for a nice and typical summer weekend of weather.  We will go through the next few days and then use the CPH (Cycling Pattern Hypothesis) to track where the “heat wave creating machine”, anticyclone, is likely to go in the next week.

Here is the forecast for the next three days.

TODAY: This will be a nice day with highs near 90°, a light wind and a tad less humidity than what has been experienced the last several days.  Note, the red color represents temperatures 90° or higher.  Western Kansas will see temperatures in the 70s and 80s as a small system meanders out of Colorado and produces clouds, showers and thunderstorms.  We will be following this system and a cold front in the Great Lakes Sunday and Monday.

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SUNDAY:  The small system in western Kansas will still be out there as it is moving quite slow, producing more showers and thunderstorms.  The cold front in the Great Lakes will surge south towards the Tennessee Valley, but stall as it tries to drift west.  There will be a few thunderstorms along the front.  So, our region will be caught in between the two weather features leaving us hot and humid with a light wind.

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MONDAY: The small system in the Plains will be on the move and it will be located in southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas.  This system will move east and slowly fall apart Monday night and Tuesday.  So, our region has a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms at those times.  The front to the east is stalled and will be moving back east as a warm front Tuesday.  We will not be experiencing the refreshing air mass over the Great Lakes, 70s for highs in Chicago, while we sit in the low 90s with high humidity.

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Cycling Pattern Hypothesis (CPH)

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Let’s go through the rest of the week and analyze the 500 mb flow, the flow at around 18,000 feet, using the CPH to track the summer upper level high, or anticyclone, or “heat wave creating machine.”

Here is the upper level flow forecast for July 18, 2017:

We have labelled the four main features present in the flow.

1. Trough off of the west coast of the USA

2. The anticyclone.

3. Deep upper low, Polar Vortex feature around Hudson’s Bay.

4. A trough in New England.

Since the anticyclone is centered in the southern Plains it will be heating up in the middle of the USA with less rain chances.  We will go back to cycles 1 and 3 to see if the forecast upper level flow is realistic or should we throw out the model data.  Remember, this years cycle is 56-61 days, centered on 58.5.  This means a multiple anywhere between 56 and 61 days prior to a date in this years pattern we should be able to find a match in the pattern.  Now, that being said, you have to account for seasonal differences.

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CYCLE 3 (MARCH 20, 2017, 120 days prior to July 18th, or two cycles ago.):

Here are the 4 features back in March.  It is rather amazing to see as you have the trough off the west coast (1), the ridge in the southern Plains (2), the deep trough around Hudson’s bay(3) and the trough moving through New England (4).  Feature #3 even has a similar shape as the one forecast July 17th.  Now, remember seasonal differences. The ridge in July is going to be stronger as it is hotter and the jet stream is more retreated.  So, it become a full blown upper level high.

500 mb March 20 2017 label

CYCLE 1: Now, lets go back 240 days to November 20, 2016, Cycle 1:

Once again we see the four features in basically the same locations.  You have 1, the trough off of the west coast. 2, there is the ridge in the southern Plains that actually was a small upper level high and shifted a bit south.  The third feature is smaller in this cycle as it appears more energy was distributed farther south in the main jet stream which makes feature number 4 stronger.

500 mb November 20 2016 labelled

So, based on this, we can believe the forecast data for July 17th as we see the matches.  This means it will be getting hot in our region.  KC has not reached 100° since September 8, 2013 and we will make another run at it this week, but high humidity, may prevent that from happening like last week.  You can go back to the other cycles and see these features at around 60 days, give or take 1-2 days.

Have a great week and stay cool.

Jeff Penner

A Look Back & A Look Ahead To Some Summer Heat

Good morning bloggers,

I have just arrived back from Boston. I showed the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis (LRC) to many of my peers. You should have seen their mouths drop.  We are sharing this technology with all of you, and have done so for 15 years in this blog and on the Weather2020 blog. We have now combined the blogs. Most of the commenting has been over on Weather2020 if you want to join in the conversation and thank you in advance for participating and sharing in this weather experience.  This has been a fascinating spring and summer so far.

Here is a picture from this morning:

Version 2

The last rain showers from this storm system were swinging across the south KC metro area early this morning.

Rainfall totals:

  • KCI Airport:  0.10″ and 0.38″ for the month
  • Overland Park, KS:  1.94″ and 3.12″ for the month
  • 143rd and Switzer:  4.00″ and over 5″ for the month

Let us know how much rain you have received.  As you can see the amounts vary quite widely as KCI Airport, the official KC recording station is sitting at 0.38″ for this firs half of the month.

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The weather pattern is now calming down again.  This map above shows the weather pattern valid at around midnight tonight.   There is a closed circle, the anticyclone backed up over the Rocky Mountain states again. Look closely. There is an upper low, a monsoon disturbance in the middle of the anticyclone.  Or, a cycling inside the anticyclone. Very interesting indeed.  We will watch this closely over the next few days as it meanders eastward.  It will be rather hot in the next week as the anticyclone is forecast to move back out over the plains stronger than it did this week.   We will look at the cycling pattern and what is ahead of us tomorrow. Have a great Friday Night In The Big Town. I will be back to work next week.

Gary

A Huge Ice Berg Breaks Off Of Antarctica

Good Thursday Afternoon,

As many of you have likely heard, a huge iceberg broke off of the Antarctica ice field yesterday. It made some pretty good news and Bob Henson, The Weather Company posted this blog entry about it yesterday. I have posted it below, here it the link: https://www.wunderground.com/cat6/delaware-sized-iceberg-detaches-larsen-c-shelf

I am heading back from Boston soon. i have been at the IBM facility in Littleton, MA this week learning some new tricks and tips on our computer system we use at KSHB-TV.  Yesterday we all broke out into teams and made weathercasts.  It was fun and then the winners were announced at dinner. We came in second place, and it was a lot of fun to work with my peers.

At dinner we got into a rather incredible discussion about our Cycling Pattern Hypothesis.  It was received quite well. The pattern continues to cycle regularly. While I have been gone it reached only 94 degrees at KCI Airport, whereas St. Louis had two days in a row over 100 degrees.  I had forecasted 92-97-98-99 this week, and it ended up 90-92-93-94.   So, roughly five degrees lower than I though it would be each day.  Next week will likely fall short too.

The latest short range models are showing some thunderstorm activity increasing in the next few hours near Kansas City.  I was blasted by very heavy rain with 2″ of rain in around an hour where I stayed at in Massachusetts.  Let’s see what happens closer to home tonight.

  • Kansas City Rainfall This Month:  0.27″
  • Kansas City Average Rainfall For July:  4.54″

Here is most of what Bob Henson posted on the link above:  

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Have a great Thursday evening.  Thank you for participating and sharing in this weather experience.  The conversation yesterday was a great one, I thought.
Gary

101 Degrees In St. Louis & A Thought On Global Warming

Good morning bloggers,

I am in Boston for some training on our MAX computers at KSHB-TV.  It was a long 8 hours of training yesterday, and it continues today.  They are really working us hard.  It is like being in college, a lot to take in.  The weather here in Boston was wet yesterday morning with heavy downpours.  The sun is shining brightly this morning.  It was shining brightly in St. Louis yesterday and they had no problem reaching an official high of 101 degrees. A swath of lower dew points, lower humidity, spread into eastern Missouri yesterday allowing for the huge jump to over 100, while the dew point in Kansas City was high in the middle 70s and once again KC didn’t even threaten 100. Will it jump up today?

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As you can see, it officially did reach 101 in St. Louis. Today, there is a chance of the temperature jumping higher in KC

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You are looking at the surface forecast map for this afternoon on this map above.  This is the type of set up that I would forecast a major run at 100 degrees near KC, but with the dew points continuing so high I doubt it will go past 96 or 97 degrees. It will be another interesting day to track the temperatures south of that front that you can see by looking at the big kink in the isobars stretching from southeast Colorado to southwest Iowa.  Where I am at, in the Boston area, it appears there will be a few afternoon and evening thunderstorms.te

What is your take on this statement I just read in USA Today?  “Today, 127 million Americans live where ragweed and ozone can threaten their next breath” said Kim Knowlton, senior scientist at the council, who oversaw the project. “This health threat will just get worse if we don’t curb climate change soon”.

WHAT? As if we can stop climate change? This is where my thoughts go on this subject. Now, I am a firm believer that this current “Global Warming” is caused by the industrial revolution of the last century. The facts back it up 100% in my opinion.  But, can we really do much about it today, tomorrow? Maybe over a 50 year period? And, there will still be natural changes in the energy from the sun and other forcing mechanisms, but these changes are over 100 to 500 year long periods.  So my biggest point today, is scaring people with these statements that Kim said above seems ridiculous. It’s as if she is saying, do not step outside as you could take your last breath due to ragweed and ozone. Ridiculous. Oh, it isn’t great to deal with allergies, if you have them. I used to be affected big time for around a two week stretch in May each year, but I haven’t had a problem in years.  I am all for ramping up the use of clean energy. This can only help in the decades ahead of us. But, there are so many uncertainties to this date that leave many questions. We just don’t really know what the impact will be 100 years from now.  And, to make statements as if it is extremely dangerous to go outside and breath are a bit of a stretch. One of the worst cities is Washington D.C, and in this article they make it sound like it is getting worse every second, “wrong headed policy threatens to make climate and pollution problems worse by the day”.  Thoughts? And, most of the discussion has been on the Weather2020 blog if you want to let us know what you think?  Again, climate change is real. The earth is warming now. The facts are that this warming is likely manmade. But, it has still only warmed around 1.5 degrees in 100 years. It isn’t as fast as the models have predicted, but certainly something to monitor.

The big dome is still forecast to develop next week.  How does it not inch closer to 100 degrees with that set up?  Well, it has been almost four straight years. We will be testing it today and then again next week. In the mean time, there will be a chance of thunderstorms developing near a weak front on Thursday near KC.  We will look into that set up on 41 Action News and in tomorrows blog. Have a great day and thank you for sharing in this weather experience.

Gary

Severe Weather Risk In Europe

Good morning bloggers,

I am in Boston, MA where it is raining this morning.  Let’s look at today’s upper flow, the transition into a hotter pattern potentially developing next week, and we will look at some potential rain chances in KC.  But, let’s begin with the severe weather risks in Europe and the United States.

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There is a moderate risk of severe weather over eastern Europe today.  A MDT risk has been issued for extreme NE Italy, NNW Slovenia into S Austria where improved conditions are seen on the local high-resolution models. Various models are simulating an enhanced threat for training convective cells extending across the western part of the risk area which should lead into an excessive rainfall threat, as well as a lot of hail accumulation in places. More than 100mm could result with the maintaining storms which will be fueled by high moisture from the N Adriatic region as well as strong lift associated with an approaching wave. Heavy orographic rainfall will also be an additional source for excessive rainfall threat. Further east into SE Austria and NE Slovenia, a bit higher threat for isolated very large hail warrants an upgrade as well.

Closer to home we have this risk today:

day1otlk_1200 (1)

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Today’s weather pattern features a summer warm front north of Missouri in southern Iowa.  It is moving north this morning and the risk of severe weather will be concentrating on Minnesota today.

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Yesterday’s high temperature in KC was below 100 degrees for the 1,400th straight day.  The conditions are certainly quite favorable for 100 degree heat in the region, but this streak in KC is likely going to continue at least another few days.  The anticyclone is forecast to grow in strength west of KC by the end of the week:

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As the anticyclone strengthens to the west, a “monsoon” disturbance will move over the Rocky Mountains and out over the plains. You can see this wave of energy by 7 PM Thursday (8 PM Boston time, since that is where I am right now).  It is turning southeast and south and it should be strong enough to trigger showers and thunderstorms, and bring a weak cold front south into the KC region Thursday into Friday.  Look at what happens by next week:

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This map above shows a much larger anticyclone forecast to develop and strengthen over the middle of North America and the United States by one week from today. The closed circle shows the 594 dm line This shows the level at where the pressure is 500 mb, or 5,940 meters above sea level.  Now, IF this actually develops like this latest model run, and it has support from other models, then Kansas City will certainly have a much better chance of reaching that elusive 100 degree mark.

Let’s see how high the temperatures go today. Yesterday was cooler than we had forecast due to the very high dew points.  Today, should inch a bit hotter.  Have a great day, I have to get to my training session at the IBM facility here in Littleton, MA.

Gary

How High Will It Go This Week?

Good morning bloggers,

The temperatures will be moving up this week. There is still a lot of debate on how high the temperatures will go. We had enough rain this spring into early summer to keep everything lush and green with the corn belt doing quite well on moisture. We would love to hear from a few of the farmers out there on how the corn and soy beans are doing. I know that corn is the earlier crop and pollination is due in these next few days to two weeks. Let us know what you need from Mother Nature.  We would appreciate the insight.

Even though it has dried out a bit in the past week, the pattern is still likely going to produce some good chances of rain across most of the corn belt this month. It will highly depend on the development and placement of the anticyclone or upper level ridge. Where will this set up in the next three weeks? This is critical for hot hot it may get and for how wet or dry it will be. I made a video this morning and I am posting it below in just a second.

Dry To Start Each Month In KC:

  • January 1st half:  0.65″      2nd half:  0.74″
  • February 1st half:  0.00″   2nd half:  0.06″
  • March 1st half:  0.42″        2nd half:  2.39″
  • April 1st half: 3.74″            2nd half:  2.90″
  • May 1st half:  0.89″            2nd half:  4.48″
  • June 1st half:  0.46″           2nd half:  5.97″
  • July 1st half:  0.27″             2nd half: ?
  • Total 1st half:  6.43″          2nd half:  13.64″

The first half of each month, with only one exception so far, has been much drier than the second half of each month. This is likely directly related to the fact that the patten is cycling in the 56-61 day range. A harmonic of that cycling pattern would be nearly on the scale of a month. And, another harmonic would be close to a half month. What is a harmonic fluctuation?  This was in my presentation that I made two weeks ago today.  In Astronomy, cycles are perfect. At the equator we have a 24 hour day and an equal 12 hour day and 12 hour night. So, a harmonic of one day would be a half day. You can go further and see the 1/4 harmonic at being from 6 AM to Noon and so on, or every six hours. These harmonics or mini cycles also exist within the cycling pattern that we are experiencing.

Here we are once again having a dry first half of July. We are now ten days in with no significant rain in sight at the moment and KCI Airport has only had 0.27″. KCI averages 4.45″ during July and last year 8.76″ fell during this month.  Last year, almost all of that rain fell during the first half of July, a very, very different weather pattern.  We do see some chances for rain by the very end of this week.

Here is the video:

July 10th weather discussion from Weather2020 on Vimeo.

In the video I show one of the updated versions of July’s forecast based on the Cycling Pattern Hypothesis model.  We will discuss this further later in the week.

It was 25 years ago yesterday that I flew to Kansas City from Oklahoma for a job interview, and 25 years ago today I was offered the job. I only knew one person in KC at the time when I arrived, the person who helped me get in the door.  Look at what can happen in 25 years. It’s hard to believe.  Here is my Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/GaryLezak

Go and read the entry and comment if you would like to.  25 years ago it was a very exciting year weather wise.  That next winter had major snow storms, and then we had the “Flood of ’93” that next summer.  It was definitely one of the most exciting weather years of my life. How about you?

I am on my way to Boston this morning for some rather intense training on our computer systems at KSHB-TV.  The training is being done at IBM, The Weather Company, in Littleton, MA.  I hopefully will be learning some new tricks and tips to bring to my team here in KC. Have a great day. I will be checking in and either Jeff Penner or I will keep you updated in the blogs.  We are continuing our discussion on the weather here and at Weather2020.com. Click on that blog as well to join in with your comments as we share in this weather experience.

Gary

Temperatures Rise, Rain Chances Drop

Good Sunday bloggers,

Today will be warmer and more humid than Saturday, but highs will stay below 95°, so our heat wave does not start yet.  Remember, we need three consecutive days of 95° or higher to have a heat wave and it looks like tomorrow is day 1.

MONDAY: The “heat wave creating machine”, or anticyclone will be located over the western USA Monday, but the heat will begin to spread east into the Plains on Monday.  Thunderstorms will be most likely across the Great Lakes and upper Midwest as the jet stream and northwest flow is located up there.

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WEDNESDAY: The upper level high will elongate to the east and acquire a second circulation over the Tennessee Valley.  This will spread the heat east, putting our region well into the temperatures 95°+.  Thunderstorms will be found on the northern edge of the heat, mostly along and north of I-80.  So, this does help out much of the corn belt with stressful growing conditions, but Kansas and Missouri will be exceptions.

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FRIDAY: The anticyclone will grow, but become centered in the western USA once again.  This will put our region in north to northwest flow.  This will open the door next weekend to a possible cold front and some thunderstorms.  We do not have high confidence in this chance of rain, but it will be something to monitor through this hot and dry week.

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UPDATED RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH THURSDAY: We will be far from seeing any measurable rain as we are under the influence of  the “heat wave creating machine.”  There will be some decent rain from Minnesota to Ohio with possibly some thunderstorms creeping into northern Missouri Monday.  The Dakotas are in a severe drought and rainfall in those locations will be piddly.

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The days since we have officially reached 100° counter has climbed to 1400 days!  We will make a run this week,  but at this time we feel we will fall short, but if Monday and Tuesday end up at 97°-99°, then Wednesday could be the day or even Tuesday.  If Monday and Tuesday end up being 94°-97°, then the streak will likely continue as the air mass is not quite hot enough.  100° or not, it will still be rather hot and below we will have some common and simple heat safety tips and reminders.

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Here is a look at the annual average number of fatalities in the USA due to severe weather.  Flooding is higher than tornadoes and when you add flooding and lightning, it is around double of tornadoes.  Flooding can be just as sudden and swift as a tornado, “Turn Around Don’t Drown.”

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Do you know what weather phenomena kills the most people per year in the USA?  It is heat with 131 fatalities on average per year, so this week be especially careful when out dealing with the heat.

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Here are some simple heat wave tips.  The biggest one is DO NOT leave the kids or pets in the car as temperatures inside can rise to 140° in 5-10 minutes.  Also, stay hydrated if you are outside for any length of time.

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We say stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, but here are some details on how much water you need.

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Have a great week and stay cool.

Jeff Penner