The onslaught of severe storms and flooding seemed to never end, but finally we are catching an extended break from the extremely active weather pattern. That said, another danger is creeping back into the picture. Due to all the moisture in our ground and air, the heat index is becoming literally a hot topic.
While low thunderstorm chances remain on some days in the week to come, the jet stream is finally left well to our north. The jet stream supplies thunderstorms with much more sustained energy and is one of the key factors in making them severe. Without those howling winds aloft, any storms that form in our muggy air mass can briefly be strong before collapsing in on itself. The main risk with any summertime storms is locally damaging wind as the storm collapses. The term for that is a microburst. Below is the late-week weather set-up for our region very typical of summer.
Isolated thunderstorms remain possible through Wednesday before the ridging in the jet stream expands further over our region, mostly cutting off our chance of rain for several days. The much-needed dry stretch into the weekend is a bit of a misnomer though. The intense sun rays combined with a gradually warming air mass will cause our plants to “sweat,” adding more moisture to the air. That combination of higher moisture levels and heat will make it feel downright oppressive by Friday into the weekend as heat index values approach 105°. It may even feel hotter over some soggy agricultural lands. It’s early enough in the summer that most of us are not too acclimated to the heat yet so it is imperative we heed heat precautions. After all, heat is the deadliest type of weather, surpassing flooding, tornadoes and lightning annually in fatalities. Below is a look at projected heat index values for the next 7 days.
Early next week, a slow-moving wave will slide westward beneath the ridge and create more of a trigger for daily thunderstorms. It is too early to tell which days will be wettest in the area, but it might provide a little afternoon relief to the heat. That “weakness” in the ridge may linger as we move into July which will set us up for more cloud cover, thundershowers and even a cool-down. The 4th of July falls into this cooler and wetter spell. That hopefully bodes well for outdoor celebrations so long as daily thunderstorms fade away before fireworks time. Otherwise, Mother Nature may be putting on her own show! Below is our Outlook into July.
As our summer goes along, it appears our ground will eventually dry out and the lake levels will slowly recede. However, it is likely to be an unusually muggy summer. Our temperatures may struggle to reach the century mark due to all the moisture in the air (it keeps the temperatures less variable). However, we’ll pay for it with our heat index values. There will be very little dry heat to go around this summer in other words. In summary, it appears that we have fully entered the summer weather pattern and we will likely be stuck with it for weeks on end. Enjoy the warmth, but be safe from the heat. For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page!