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Goodbye July!!

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Tomorrow we’ll bid farewell to what will likely be the 6th hottest, and 6th driest July on record for Kansas City. There are various ways to measure the passing month, but the lack of rain…and the average high temperatures are the best ones to consider.

July 2003 reigns supreme as the driest July, with only .12″ of rain…we’ll end up with .49″ this July…good for 6th place behind 1916.  And 1980 had an average high of 101.7 degrees at the Downtown Airport…our average high will likely end up at 98.2 degrees…good for 6th place behind 1901 (98.3 degrees). If we hit 101 or 102…then we’ll slide into 5th place, but I think a light Easterly wind will prevent us from getting to those readings.
It was awfully thick out there today!  Thanks to rain that passed nearby this morning…higher humidity levels dropped in from the north this morning, and left behind a trail of thick moisture that made today’s low 90s feel rather obnoxious.  In fact the precipitable water content of the air reached 2.0″ today.  Typically we don’t see readings that high unless we’re in a tropical air-mass!  But very hot air can hold a lot of water…and that’s why the rainfall was not all that heavy or widespread today.  Even tonight, the precipitable water (water available to turn into rain) is running quite high:

Monday evening precipitable H2O chart

You can see we are still at 1.7″ tonight…but slightly drier air will move in from the northwest overnight. The next chance for rain appears to be Thursday morning.

Is the new month of August going to bring relief?  That looks like wishful thinking.  The calendar will eventually win…as we lose 67 minutes of daylight in the month of August.  But the global pattern continues to lock the hot, and relatively dry air into place at least through the middle of the month.  Here’s the latest European model of the northern Hemisphere at 500 millibars (approximately 18,000 feet over Kansas City)

500 Millibars…valid 7 a.m. August 9th

What’s most interesting/disturbing about this chart is that the core of the colder air aloft (represented in the blue area over north-central Canada is in a position that would actually begin to intensify the heat again just past this date…so the middle of August looks solidly hot and dry. The next 7 days or so, we’ll see some weakness with occasional rain chances…but if this chart is correct…it will strengthen by around the 10th to the 12th of August…so our run of 100 degree days may approach 30 before we are through this summer!  As of today…we’ve had 17 days over 100.

Sunshine returns Tuesday!  I’m looking for a bit of cumulus to pop by late morning…so a fair to partly cloudy sky, light winds, and sticky humidity will make tomorrow’s high of 100 feel more like 106 in the heat of the day!  Ugh!

Have a great last day of July!  The last month of meteorological summer begins on Wednesday!

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