In this morning's blog, I mentioned there was a light at the end of the tunnel regarding what has been a brutal summer for us. The map at the right, courtesy of the climate prediction center, also gives a hint that the pattern may finally be changing. It is valid for the period of Sep 2-6, in other words through this coming Labor Day weekend. Notice that our state is no longer in the above normal temperature range; that has been suppressed further south and the below normal range is just north of us. Keep in mind, this just shows what the average will be during that time period and since I am still calling for above normal temperatures for Sept 2 & 3, then Sep 4, 5, & 6 should see a nice cool down. Even normal temperatures would represent a nice cool down compared to how this summer has gone.
This is assuming the forecast changes in the upper level winds for later this week do actually take place. The dominant ridge that has been so oppressive all summer long is forecast to finally be on the move. It has been centered over or just west of us for what has seemed like forever, but the longer range guidance has been consistent in nudging it further eastward and allowing lower heights to spread over the state. That, in turn, will allow a more significant cool front to push through and these changes should start taking place along about this coming Saturday or perhaps on Sunday. There are still some timing issues to be resolved, but it appears the cool front will be followed by a stronger push of cooler high pressure into the state in time for Labor Day itself.
This system also poses our next best change for some widespread rainfall. However, between now and then we still have some more summer to deal with. Look for triple digit heat or close to it again on Sunday, a bit of a break on Monday, then near triple digits for the Tue-Fri time frames. A complex of storms is still expected to be forming in Kansas Sunday night and then dropping SE across the extreme NE corner of our state by Monday morning. Outflow boundaries and residual cloud cover from that activity should knock at least a few degrees off the temperature as well as provide at least a slight chance of showers or storms. A slight chance of showers or storms may also occur on Tuesday, but the chances look to only be on the order of 20% or so for most of us.
After that, it looks dry until this pattern change evolves and that is something that will be closely monitored. Obviously, that is still quite a long ways off and conditions may change, but it is getting late enough into the season and there has so far been enough consistency in the longer range guidance to provide at least a ray of hope.
In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.