Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Burst Of Heat To A 4th Of July That's Hard To Beat

To say this has been a strange summer so far would be an understatement, especially compared to the past decade.  If my calculations are correct, this will be the coolest last week of June in exactly 10 years.  Remember, 3 of them were nothing short of horrible: 2010, 2011, and 2012.  Here are the highs each one of those years and the daily average high temperature.  Again, this is for the last week of June (24th through the 30th)

2010:  98, 97, 99, 99, 98, 87, 76   Average daily high = 95.7 degrees

2011:  94, 98, 98, 100, 86, 92, 93  Average daily high = 94.4 degrees

2012:  101, 105, 96, 98, 107, 106, 103  Average daily high = 102.3 degrees

2013:  92, 92, 93, 101, 97, 93, 86 Average daily high = 93.4 degrees

2014: 90, 90, 83, 84, 89, 89, Monday's high.   Average daily high so far = 87.5 degrees

So what would you rather have, scorching hot temperatures or the cooler and rainy weather?  Answer that in the poll to the right.

We have a burst of heat and humidity arriving Monday into Tuesday, but unlike years past, it will not last long.  The jet stream shows signs of "amplification".  This means the usual flow displaced well to the north will buckle and send a ridge over the west and a trough over the central and east.  This can deliver a breath of fresh air this time of year.  It's very rare a front pushes all the way through the state, but that's exactly what the models indicate late this week.  Do I believe the data?  It's hard to deny what it indicates.  Just know it's rare and it would not surprise me to see the models back off on this idea, but they are insisting it will happen.  Let's just hope.  The possibility is a fantastic 4th of July with low humidity and below average temperatures.  That front will arrive late Tuesday into Wednesday with yet more rain and storm chances.  Surprising huh?

The more rain we receive the less likely we will hit 100 degrees.  It's still very early in the summer and we know how fast things can dry out so I'm not going out on that limb just yet.  As long as there's soil moisture, the sun's energy will focus on evaporation, then on heating the ground once it dries out.  That's when we get our 100 degree days.  The last year without a 100 degree day was 2009.  Remember, we beat several rainfall records that year and it ended up as the wettest year in Little Rock weather history.   Since 1880, there have been 54 summers when the temperature never hit 100 degrees.  3 of those years have been since 2000 (2002, 2004, and 2009).  Let's add 2014 to that list!  I hope.

Below are maps explaining the situation and the model data is courtesy of a fantastic web site,

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