Drought Monitor Updates, Flooding Rain, Wildfire Updated, Heat, September-like Temps and Severe Weather Threat
Thursday, August 16th, 2012
Thanks to my good friend Bill Doms for the amazing lightning shot below. Showers and thunderstorms rolled through Minnesota overnight along the leading edge of a potent cold front, which will be responsible for a temperature tumble nearly 20° cooler than it was yesterday.
Severe Threat Today
NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center has issued a SLIGHT RISK of severe weather for folks across the middle part of the country. Hail, high winds and heavy rain are the primary threats for locations shaded in yellow below.
Heavy Rainfall Potential
NOAA’s Hydrometeorological Prediction Center has a 1 day rainfall forecast of 1″+ in a few pockets around the Ohio Valley. This is GREAT news considering we have been so dry this year.
U.S. Drought Monitor Update
The U.S. Drought Monitor released its weekly drought update today and unfortunately the drought seems to have intensified over the central part of the country. The image below shows the weekly difference from last to this week. Areas in red and deep red are the worst drought areas, which takes up a large chunk of the central part of the country. Since last week, the EXTREME drought dropped a little, but still nearly encompasses 1/4 of the nation. Meanwhile, the EXCEPTIONAL drought increased from a little more than 4% of the nation to a little more than 6%.
“Drought covered over 60 percent of the contiguous 48 states as of mid-August 2012, although significant expansion finally halted during the last couple of weeks. Still, almost one-quarter of the country was experiencing extreme to exceptional drought (D3 – D4 on the Drought Monitor), primarily in a large swath generally extending from the central Rockies eastward through the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys. Many locations from Indiana, the western reaches of Tennessee and Kentucky, and Arkansas westward through parts of Iowa, central Kansas, and eastern Oklahoma received 8 to 12 inches less precipitation than normal April 1 – August 14, 2012, with a few areas reporting deficits exceeding one foot. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 51 percent of the corn crop was in poor or very poor condition across the 18 primary corn-producing states, as was 48 percent of sorghum (11 primary producing states) and 38 percent of soybeans (18 states). For the contiguous 48 states as a whole, 59 percent of pastures and rangelands were in poor or very poor condition, with 4 states reporting more than 90 percent of their pastures and rangelands in poor or very poor condition (Missouri 98 percent, Illinois 94 percent, Nebraska 92 percent, Kansas 90 percent) and another 6 states topping 85 percent.”
“The Drought Outlook valid through the end of November 2012 indicates drought conditions will remain essentially unchanged in large sections of the central Mississippi Valley, the central and southwestern Great Plains, most of the High Plains, the central Rockies, the Great Basin, and parts of the Far West, though the seasonal declines in temperatures, evaporative moisture loss, and water demand should preclude any widespread worsening of conditions. At least some improvement is forecast for much of the central Rockies, the Southwest, the southern Great Plains, the Ohio Valley, the Great Lakes region, the upper Midwest, and the eastern tier of states.”
A Break From the Heat
Several cool fronts have pushed through the eastern half of the country over the past 1 to 2 weeks. These fronts have been bringing some much needed rain to a few spots, but have also brought a much needed relief from the heat. It appears the the next 6 to 10 days will be running cooler than average for a large chunk of the country, mainly due to the ‘troughiness’ that has set up near the Great Lakes Region.
6 to 10 Day Temperature Outlook
Troughs of low pressure in the northern hemisphere spin counterclockwise, so a northerly wind on the western side of the trough will help to drive in cooler Canadian air. Meanwhile, a ridge of warm air continues to bring warm and dry weather conditions into the western third of the nation.
The National Weather Service continues Excessive Heat Warnings for folks in the Pacific Northwest today and tomorrow. Actual air temperatures will be in the 90s and 100s… keep in mind, most folks out this way are A/C free.
High Temps Today
Looks at these steamy temps! Keep in mind that record territory may be met in a few spots today and tomorrow!!
Thanks to the US National Weather Service IMET for sharing this picture out of Idaho. Ivan
Trinity Ridge Fire near Featherville Idaho. Photo courtesy of Ivan Erskine FBAN
Thanks to Lisa Kidd Photography for sharing this picture with us on our Facebook page. She snapped this image from the Minidoka Complex near Twin Falls, ID.
Several Active Wildfires
The image below, from Inciweb.org, is quite sobering… there are several wildfires still ongoing from earlier this Summer, but there are also several that have been started recently either due to the hot and dry weather or lightning from spotty monsoonal thunderstorms.
When it Rains it Pours!
Thanks to @Jezerific for the picture below out of Brooklyn, NY. Yesterday’s heavy rainfall led to flooding across the area. Sure would be nice to take some of this rain and spread it out across the central part of the country.
Flash Flood Reports
Here is one of the storm reports from Long Island yesterday:
“Nine feet of water under railroad tressel near elm place and jerico turnpike”
Radar Estimates of Rain
Radar estimates of rainfall near New York and Long Island are anywhere from 1″ to 2.5″ – it doesn’t seem like a lot, but there’s a lot of concrete out there and when you pick up that much rain in a short amount of time, the water has no where to go.
Thanks for checking in on this Thursday, have a great rest of your week.
Don’t forget to check me out on Twitter @TNelsonWNTV