Sunday, June 28, 2020

Update - June 28, 2020

As discussed in the posting on the 19th (click here), I mentioned that for a couple of months I had concerns about the expanding drought and still did on the 19th, despite a respite of generally wetter weather expected.  As of this posting, my concerns have deepened.  At the moment, I think we're headed for an extended and expanding drought.    The respite in the dry weather pattern was generally brief but at least for most areas there was significant rainfall, but there was also very severe wind and hail - and actually excessive rainfall.  But despite the favorable pattern that brought the increased in rainfall, there were still quite a few locations that did not receive ANY rainfall!  That is concerning!

Here is what fell during the past 7 days....

Although the drought monitor presented below does not take into account all the rainfall (not including the large Mescoscale Convective Systems (MCS) on Friday and Saturday (26th and 27th)), there really wasn't much improvement in conditions except for those lucky ones.  Here was the drought map for the 26th...

What has got to be a big eye operner is how the dryness and drought conditions have been expanding.  The western Cornbelt is seeing conditions deteriorate significantly.  Even other parts of the Cornbelt are now seeing abnormally dry conditions.

For this week the pattern is back to the hot (and very hot), windy and dry weather for most of the region.  This has been expected.  In the previous post I said "Going into July, I think there may be a couple of good chances for thunderstorms but I'm afraid those chances may not be enough to alleviate the drought."

The first chance is a small one and that will be toward the end of this week - maybe late Thursday/Friday?  But at this point it's too early to say if it will be a large MCS or just scattered storms (for the high plains).  The most likely period for thunderstorms (at least several chances) will be between July 6-14.  We better hope that period pans out otherwise going into late July and early August we will probably be looking at a D4 (Exceptional Drought).

To add insult to injury, here is the official U.S. Drought Outlook through the end of September....

I'll try and update toward the end of the week.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Updated - June 19, 2020

In the previous post I did on May 31 (click here), I discussed the ongoing and expanding drought.  I had concerns then and still do today, even though we will be in a "wet" pattern for the next week. 

On February 24 I made a forecast that June 18-19 would be a period that there would either be an outbreak of severe weather or there would be excessive rains!  I then posted in this blog on April 22 about that same period.  This morning (19th) there was a widespread precipitation event that covered much of the central U.S..  At the Dodge City airport this morning there was 2.27 inches of rain in about 2 hours.  There weren't any official reports as of this writing, but it appears that a few 3-4 inch amounts were observed.  Did everyone get that much rain?  Of course not, but there were good rains across much of the area.  And, for a morning event - that is pretty impressive!  Another round is possible this Friday night spreading in from eastern Colorado.  Beyond tonight, there will be yet another couple of rounds through the middle to latter part of next week.  Thus, the earlier thinking that the 2nd half of June could see above normal rainfall is still in play.  Unfortunately, it might be back to a dry stretch after that.

What has really been hurting things is the excessive and persistent wind!   Through June 18, the average wind at Dodge City was 18.7 MPH (that is an average of hourly observations every day) and this is the 2nd windiest June on record, so far!  Plus, dew point temperatures have been lower than average resulting in relative humidities staying quite low during the heat of the day.  That has worsened the drought.

But, at least for now, the humidity will be higher, temperatures lower and like I stated several more chances for thunderstorms.

Going into July, I think there may be a couple of good chances for thunderstorms but I'm afraid those chances may not be enough to alleviate the drought. In fact, here is the latest outlook:

Let's see how this next 7-10 days shakes out.  IF, that's a big if, thunderstorms can be widespread enough with generous rain then this may mitigate the drought impacts at least a little.  I'm only very slightly optimistic about that.  BTW - August 13-14 - could it be another good chance for precipitation?

Here is the precipitation outlook from the Weather Prediction Center through next Friday.

I'll do my best to update towards the end of next week, say ~June 26.