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Hot and Dry, Also an Ozone Alert.

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Officially, we just barely made triple digits today, and as the map on the right shows there were lots of other triple digit readings across the state. Notice also the relatively milder temperatures for the extreme NE counties. That is due to the rain footprint from last weeks rains that I talked about a couple of days ago.

Bright, sunny skies and the increasing heat will quickly dry those areas out though and if you have looked at the forecast at all, you will see triple digits pretty much across the board for the coming week. In fact, for just about each day this week, the forecast highs are at or close to the record highs for those dates so we are in for an extended heat wave.

Not only that, but there will not be much ventilation provided by the winds either as our winds will be very light and generally from a southerly direction. So, sunny and hot conditions together with light winds spell air quality problems and an Ozone Alert is in effect for Monday. That will likely be repeated each day this week as well.

The hotter temperatures also lead to high evaporation rates and higher moisture demands on the part of the vegetation and that combination, which we refer to as evapotranspiration, quickly depletes the soil moisture. Evapotranspiration is a cooling process, but as the soil and the vegetation dry out, then that cooling process is reduced which leads to hotter temperatures, which leads to further drying of the soil and vegetation which leads to more heat…..and you can see this quickly becomes a vicious cycle.

So, is there any relief in sight? Up through this morning there was room for optimism that at least some of the moisture from TS Debby in the Gulf of Mexico would make its way up here in time for the coming weekend. As of right now, that does not appear to be the case. There remains considerable uncertainty regarding the ultimate destination of Debby, but the chances of any of that moisture making its way up here now appear to be extremely unlikely.

The reason for that is a building ridge aloft that will be centered right over the state during the week. That will be difficult to dislodge and will keep us hot and dry all week long. By the coming weekend, there are indications that this ridge will be flattened somewhat and weaken enough to at least drop temperatures a few degrees. Don't bet the farm on that just yet though and even if we do see temperatures drop a few degrees, there are no signs of any significant rainmakers on the horizon at this time either.

So, stay tuned, stay cool, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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