Just How Dry Is It?!?

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Tomorrows 4th of July celebrations are making some people weary due to countless warnings about drought conditions, fire bans, and firework bans. With the highlight of tomorrow’s holiday being outdoor activities including fireworks, the relentless heat is posing threats of all kinds.

Upon taking a look at the past few months’ rainfall totals, we are seeing a pretty steady trend of minimal rain. Currently for the year, KCI is 6.40 inches behind in total rainfall amounts. Most of the metro is currently considered to be in a moderate drought, as of June 26, with the southwest corner of the metro area approaching severe drought conditions because of this lack of rainfall.  The areas of severe drought include but are not limited to parts of Douglas, Leavenworth, Johnson, and Wyandotte County with one of the highest rainfall deficits in the area for the year being 7.84 inches at Johnson County Executive Airport. Over the next few days, when the new data is available, we expect to see the drought conditions take a turn for the worse considering our ever growing lack of rainfall here in the area.

This lack of rainfall is also helping the area reach these excruciatingly high temperatures we have all been enduring this summer. With a lack of moisture in the air it is easier for the temperatures to climb at a more rapid pace which is causing our 100 degree temperatures during the day. Our recent heat wave, for the most part, has been dry heat which we attempt to tell you makes this situation not as bad as it could be, but when we get down to it 100 degree temperatures are hot whatever way you try and spin it.

A heat advisory has been reissued to the metro area and those of you who plan on being outdoors or do not have adequate cooling systems to deal with the heat are urged to take caution these next few days. This heat advisory is a hindrance on festivities for tomorrow but for good reason. With tomorrow’s temperatures expected to reach 101 degrees, it may just be too hot to spend the afternoon outdoors, or at least if you do lots of water will be needed.

The other problem with all this pesky dry weather is how it is affecting the grass, trees and areas around us in regards to fire. As we have seen lately with the wildfires scorching through Colorado, the conditions are present for things to burn and keep burning hence the fire bans, firework bans and warnings that fire departments and officials keep reiterating. Even with the sporadic rain showers occurring every other week or so, the intensity of the sun is such that we are baking all of the moisture out of the soil and plants in between these showers not helping our situation very much.

We would have loved to bring some rain in these days leading up to the 4th of July but the skies were not in our favor. As we keep smoldering under the heat for the remainder of the week, make sure you take caution in your holiday endeavors and everyday activities. Hopefully we can put a dent in this dry streak with the relief we see in the upcoming forecast at the beginning of next week. Keep your fingers crossed for cooler temperatures and some rainfall and try and stay cool out there in the meantime.

Ariele Daniel – Weather Intern

You can check out some fireworks safety precautions as reported last week here on Fox 4 http://wp.me/p1Tys4-oWm .

Also the cities of Kansas City, Overland Park, Olathe, Shawnee and Lenexa prohibit personal fireworks, now including Spring Hill which just issued a burn ban which also prohibits fireworks. Some other counties that are under burn bans which may not include the ban on fireworks include: Anderson, Atchison, Barton, Bourbon, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Clark, Clay, Decatur, Edwards, Ellsworth, Ford, Franklin, Graham, Grant, Greenwood, Gove, Hodgeman, Johnson, Lane, Lincoln, Logan, Marshall, Meade, Miami (portion under Johnson County Fire District No. 2), Mitchell, Morton, Ness, Norton, Osborne, Ottawa, Pawnee, Phillips, Rawlins, Riley, Rooks, Rush, Russell, Sheridan, Sherman, Smith, Stevens, Thomas, Trego and Wyandotte counties.

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