Another round of thunderstorms spread across Kansas Tuesday night with more on-going this Wednesday afternoon. A strong cold front moved into Oklahoma but was stalling (as mentioned in the previous post). This front was the result of an anomalously strong July upper system moving across Canada. I highlighted this system on the following satellite image. (as usual, click for a larger version)
During the past 28 days (July), rainfall has been very high across many areas of the plains. For instance, down near Elkhart there have been reports of 10 inches for July...nearing what is "normal" for an entire year! Many areas have seen amounts nearly double what is normal. However, at the same time, there are adjacent locations that have somehow missed out! Click for a larger version...
There really doesn't seem that there will be any "big" changes in the pattern anytime soon. The North American Monsoon will continue to pump moisture into the plains. You can see that position on the satellite image. It appears that New Mexico and extreme southern Colorado and even the panhandles will benefit the most during the next week. But there should still be at least scattered thunderstorms at times across much of the plains. The Weather Prediction Center (WPC) offers the following forecast for a 7 day accumulation:
Keep in mind that the forecast amounts are an average. Some areas will have much more; some will have much less.
With an increasing active Pacific Basin (both western and eastern parts), I don't foresee any long stretches of very hot weather. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder now if we've seen our hottest weather in terms of daily extremes (which would be unusual)! If the western Pacific does indeed get very active with more typhoons, there will likely be another surge of anomalously cool (August standards) weather into the plains during the period starting in about 10-14 days. Then, the outlook for August is for much of the plains to be cooler and wetter than average. With more rains (as per the WPC outlook), the soil to atmosphere feedback will likely continue keeping temperatures at bay.
Finally, there are already a lot of outlooks for the fall and winter based on the strengthening El Nino. I will caution you that not all El Nino's are a like. Meaning for instance and as an example, with a strong El Nino California is very wet 3 out of 5 times. NOT 5 of 5! So, just because we will likely have an El Nino, the hemispheric flow (jet stream) can still set up a little differently each time. The time to watch will be late September into October. At that time, confidence should increase in determining the expected weather.