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Warming Up.

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The month of June got off to a record setting start yesterday with both a record cool morning low and a record cool afternoon high. Quite a contrast to how the year has gone so far as the period of Jan 1-May31 has blown away all previous records for warmth. The month of May itself was also the second warmest May on record and the 4th driest. The Spring months of Mar-May were also the warmest on record. That leads to the question of what can we expect for the coming summer given such a record warm start to the year.

As you might expect, the past does not offer much help in that regard and the outlook for the summer is a bit of a mixed bag as well. For example, the previous record warmest May was 1962 and it was also one of the driest. The following summer months were not only cooler than normal, the month of June that year was actually cooler than that May was. Not only that, but those summer months were also wetter than normal.

However, the other years that had record warm Springs had a tendency for a warmer and drier Summer, but there were exceptions as one might expect; thus the mixed bag when using the past as a predictor. The climate prediction center is calling for temperatures over the course of the summer to average warmer than normal, but precipitation does not have a well defined signal and the chances are equally split between normal, below, and above normal precipitation.

Now, what about the immediate future. Once again there is a mixed bag of possibilities as the overnight convection should leave us under partly cloudy skies this afternoon with any lingering rain chances confined to the more southern counties. Some sunshine and a light SE wind should get us into the mid 80s for the afternoon hours. Overnight tonight is when things get a little more interesting as there are indications of a complex of storms forming out west late in the day which would be arriving during the late night or early morning hours. It appears that activity should be primarily confined to the more northern counties.

Also, the cool front which brought the breath of fresh air will be lifting back north as a warm front which should put the state back into the warm sector for the next few days. But, the nearness of the boundary and a weak NW flow pattern aloft will maintain chances of showers and storms over the next several days, primarily during the late night and morning hours. That front will likely get another push our direction Tuesday with a return to NE winds which should then hold temperatures in check for the rest of the week. This is a little more active pattern and is also the reason for at least a slight chance of showers/storms on just about any given day for the coming week.

Although we have received some badly needed rainfall, more is certainly needed. As the map on the right shows, our soil moisture is still badly in need of recharge across most of the state. At least we have a chance of scattered showers/storms in the week ahead.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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