KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We’re starting a new month today and as we do so, we’ll briefly be looking back at the month of July, which (depending on your location) was either close to average or pretty darn toasty compared to average. More on that in the discussion.

Overall, this week will trend above average, especially these next couple of days. A cold front will work through though on Wednesday, so rain chances will be increasing for the middle of the week and temperatures should back off later in the week just a bit. We should also get a humidity break as well on Thursday.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Kansas City Forecast:

Today: Smokey skies for awhile with hot and humid conditions Highs in the lower-to-mid-90s. Heat index 100-105 degrees.

Tonight: Stuffy and a bit breezy at times. Lows well into the 70s.

Tomorrow: A bit more wind with hotter temperatures and highs in the mid-to-upper 90s.

Wednesday: Hot and humid with afternoon rain chances into the evening/overnight as well. Highs in the lower-to-mid-90s.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Discussion:

We start the smoke: A significant chunk spread rapidly through the Plains yesterday. Looking at satellite pictures over the last couple of days, I believe the smoke is from the McKinney complex of fires burning in northern California along the Oregon border.

This fire is out of control and has burned close to 55,000 acres. Its smoke got wafted into the atmosphere and crossed through the Rockies yesterday morning and moved through the Plains last night.

My thought is the particular aggressive vertical ejection of the smoke propelled it towards the stratosphere helped to drive this farther along in distance.

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a lot of smoke around these parts. Remember last summer there was a ton of smoke it seemed on a daily basis.

So that’s item number one.

Item number two is a quick look back at July and the split from north to south in terms of temperatures. KCI, the official reporting station for Kansas City had a milder-than-average month, 9 degrees above average. In the big scheme of things nothing too crazy. On the south side though, Olathe Executive Airport had temperatures 3.1 degrees above average, a significant difference from north to south.

  • The average high for July at KCI was 89 degrees.
  • The average high for July at Olathe Executive Airport was 91.8 degrees.
  • The average high for Olathe Industrial Airport towards Gardner was 92.4 degrees.

That is a pretty significant swing from north to south.

I talked extensively about the north to south change in temperatures on account of the drought that was an issue from north to south through the metro this past month and the data backs it up.

How hot will it be this week?

This week will be overall a hot week, especially these next few days. Relief though will quickly come on Wednesday night as a cold front moves into the region. This front will likely trigger showers/storms in the region at some point on Wednesday afternoon/night. Perhaps earlier across northwest Missouri.

Last week, it appears this front would come into the area later in the week, but the upper-level ridge that is going to hike the temperatures up these next few days doesn’t really build in strongly this week. It sort of backs away to the 4 Corners area, then builds back in later in the week, then backs away again early next week. This allows fronts to move down in the occasional west-northwest to northwest flow aloft that is connected to the ridge building back westwards. One front is Wednesday and another is perhaps later in the weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some hot days this week. We should avoid 100 degrees, but mid-to-upper 90s are on the table for several days, including the next couple of days as well perhaps as Saturday.

Hey it could be worse. Down in San Antonio in July, it was a bit toasty. They finished the month 5 degrees above average, which is huge.

And in Austin, Texas, it was 3.2 degrees above average.

Brutal month of heat in Texas and Oklahoma as well.

A lot of heat still to go down there this summer and up here as well. The August outlook came out from the Climate Prediction Center:

Good news for the southwest U.S., more active monsoonal rains it appears.

That’s it for today, next update is Wednesday.

The feature photo is from Sheila Jackson.

Joe