So Hot…So Dry…What About Snow?

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Everywhere I go these days, people I talk to are starting to become genuinely worried about this drought.  While we have a long way to go to adequately compare to the 1930s with regard to heat.  The drought situation is starting to compare favorably with some of our driest years.

Some have asked if there is a correlation between the extreme heat and drought and the subsequent winters.  The answer is sort of…but not really.  I say that because what I’ll show you below is simply a small subset of all winters…mainly focusing on the hottest, driest years….and the snowfall in the winters that followed.  In depth analyses of all winters would end up showing a much less clear picture….but for purposes of a quick and dirty picture of winters after the most extreme summers…there seems to be a tendency for less snow.

WINTER            SNOWFALL

1934-35                10.7″

1936-37                15.9″

1954-55                20.2″  (Near normal)

1980-81                10.2″

1988-89                 6.9″

There are many factors to consider when we eventually make our forecast for this winter…and certainly this will be a factor…but not the only one.  We’ll have to look at the shift in the ocean temperature patterns, solar cycles (which have been more active lately…but far from a terribly active solar cycle), and a number of other patterns that will lead us to our winter forecast.  So for those who enjoyed last winter (like me) there is not yet time for celebration.  Snow lovers…don’t give up too early!

In fact, after a summer like this, we’ll hope for some major snows over the Missouri River watershed, as well as over crop growing areas of the plains. If we don’t get them, then this drought may persist into next year.

You may recall that this drought has been creeping this way for the past few years…it was at our doorstep last summer.

We did not hit 100º today….but we were close.  I expect tomorrow to creep another degree higher or so….then jump back to the triple digits by Wednesday. That will be our 10th day at or above 100º.  The map of the 3,000 foot temperatures on Thursday shows the core of heat becoming re-established just to our west…and beginning to stretch out our way,

Temperatures in Celsius Thursday Afternoon at 3,000 feet.

The last half of the week looks solidly in the 100º to 105º range, and next week looks even hotter.

There was a nice piece of work published by the folks down at the weather office in Pleasant Hill today that does a comprehensive job of comparing our current drought to previous significant droughts over the Untied States.  If you are interested in how bad this drought is as of today…it’s a must read.  A little scary to be honest considering our hot dry forecast, and the fact that parts of the metro are already asking for voluntary water rationing.

I was in Oklahoma City during the hot dry summer of 1980.  I had just purchased my first home…and was trying to establish a new lawn.  It was a joke.  The lawns around here are reminding me of that already.  Yikes!

By the way….thanks for all the “hot jokes” on our Facebook Page…there are some pretty good ones in there!  Joe opened a Pandora’s Box when he got bored last night and asked for your “It’s so hot________ ” jokes last night!   Some of them are PG-13! And our forecast DOES look like 50 Shades of Red!

Have a great week!

Mike

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