US Drought Monitor Update, Severe Weather, Extreme Heat and Tropical Update
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Wednesday’s high temperature in Oklahoma city topped out at 112° and become the 2nd HOTTEST temperature ever recorded there! 112° was only met one other time and that was 8/10/1936
Wetter in the Southwest than the Plains
Thanks to Jillian Danielson for sharing this cool picture with us on our WN Facebook page.
“A monsoon storm crosses over Lake Havasu City, Arizona Tuesday afternoon. I took this from London Bridge Beach of a rainstorm coming over the lake. We don’t get storms often here in Havasu, but when they do, we get hit hard! Photographer Jillian Danielson.”
How about this… Lake Havasu City, AZ picked up nearly 2.5″ of rain during the month of July, where Oklahoma City, OK and Sioux Falls, SD only recorded 0.39″ and 0.24″ of rain respectively.
Drought intensifies over the middle of the country
“It’s hard to believe that it’s getting worse, but it is, even with some rain in the region,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist and U.S. Drought Monitor author at the National Drought Mitigation Center,. “Drought continues to intensify through the Midwest and Plains states.”
“The July 31 Drought Monitor map put 52.65 percent of the United States and Puerto Rico in moderate drought or worse, down from 53.44 percent the week before; 38.12 percent in severe drought or worse, compared with 38.11 a week earlier; 18.62 percent in extreme drought or worse, compared with 17.2 percent the week before; and 2.52 percent in exceptional drought, up from 1.99 percent the preceding week.”
“The total area of the country shown in moderate drought or worse has been setting records within the U.S. Drought Monitor’s 12-year history since mid-June. For longer comparisons, researchers look to the Palmer Drought Severity Index.”
The state with the largest area of EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT conditions is Arkansas. Last week more than 33% of the state was considered to be in the EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT, now it’s more than 44%!
Precipitation Needed to End Drought
Staggering numbers here… latest numbers suggest that more than 1ft. of rain is needed to end the drought across a large area of the central part of the country. Parts of Arkansas need almost 17″ to end the drought!
Emergency drought aid expands as Midwest bakes
“Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack took more steps to provide drought-hit farmers with relief, naming another 218 counties in 12 states as disaster areas due to the drought and making farmers eligible for low-interest loans and other aid.
The USDA has now designated 1,584 counties in 32 states — more than half of all counties in the United States — as disaster areas, 1,452 due to drought.”
(Photo Below: Cows feed in a drought-damaged pasture as temperatures climb over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Jasper, Indiana, July 24, 2012. REUTERS- John Sommers II)
The National Weather Service continues heat headlines for the highlighted areas below. Dangerously hot afternoon heat index values could be topping out in the 110° to 115° range.
Forecast Highs Today
Look at that heat centered over Oklahoma… good grief! Actual air temperatures could spike into the 110s!
Oklahoma City Heat… Miami Thunder (I’m Confused)
The 2012 NBA finals earlier this year between the OKC Thunder and the Miami heat come to mind when I wrote the title above. Interesting now how OKC is dealing with HEAT and Miami is dealing with a THUNDER chances today.
Even Hotter Today in OKC
If you can believe it, the high temperature today in OKC may be even hotter! The National Weather Service is forecasting a high temperature of 114° which is significant because the all-time record high at OKC is 113° set on 8/11/1936 !!
Severe Threat Today
The Storm Prediction Center has issued a SLIGHT RISK of severe weather today for parts of MT, ND, SD and WY. Hail and high winds look to be the primary threat with heavy rain.
Severe Threat Friday
That same system will shift east on Friday and touch off more strong to severe weather across parts of ND, SD, MN. High, high winds and perhaps even an isolated tornado can’t be ruled out.
HPC 5 Day Rainfall
NOAA’s HPC 5 day rainfall forecast shows pockets of heavy rain rotating around the edge of extreme heat in the South Central part of the country.
TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE DISCUSSION NUMBER 4
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052012
1100 AM AST THU AUG 02 2012
AFTER LOOKING VERY DISORGANIZED OVERNIGHT…SATELLITE IMAGERY THIS MORNING SHOWS A MARGINALLY BETTER STRUCTURE WITH EVIDENCE OF INCREASED CONVECTIVE BANDING. NOAA BUOY 41040…TO THE NORTH OF THE CENTER…REPORTED 31 KT WINDS. THE INTENSITY IS KEPT AT 30 KT PENDING THE ARRIVAL OF AN AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT IN THE CYCLONE…SCHEDULED FOR 1800 UTC. DYNAMICAL GUIDANCE SHOWS THAT THE VERTICAL SHEAR SHOULD DECREASE SOMEWHAT IN THE NEXT DAY OR TWO AND THIS COULD ALLOW FOR SOME STRENGTHENING. HOWEVER THE 1200 UTC SOUNDING FROM TRINIDAD SHOWED A LOW-TO MID-LEVEL EASTERLY JET TO THE SOUTH OF THE LATITUDE OF THE DEPRESSION…AND THIS COULD BEAN INHIBITING FACTOR FOR INTENSIFICATION. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ONE.
THE MOTION CONTINUES WESTWARD AT A FAIRLY SWIFT 17 KT. A MID-TROPOSPHERIC HIGH OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC SHOULD MAINTAIN A WELL-DEFINED EASTERLY STEERING CURRENT OVER THE CARIBBEAN FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THIS PATTERN IS LIKELY TO KEEP THE CYCLONE ON A MAINLY WESTWARD TRACK FOR THE NEXT 72 HOURS OR SO. LATER IN THE FORECAST PERIOD…AS THE SYSTEM NEARS A WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE…A GRADUAL TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED. THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST IS NUDGED SLIGHTLY TO THE SOUTH OF THE PREVIOUS ONE BUT IS OTHERWISE UNCHANGED. THIS IS ALSO VERY CLOSE TO THE DYNAMICAL MODEL CONSENSUS.
Tropical Storm ERNESTO?
If TD FIVE intensifies into Tropical Storm strength, ERNESTO will be its name. TD FIVE is forecast to become ERNESTO by late Friday or early Saturday as it enters the eastern Caribbean.
DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
AT 1100 AM AST THE CENTER OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION FIVE WAS LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 13.0 NORTH…LONGITUDE 54.3 WEST. THE DEPRESSION IS MOVING TOWARD THE WEST NEAR 20 MPH…32 KM/H…AND THIS GENERAL MOTION IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS. ON THE FORECAST TRACK…THE CENTER OF THE DEPRESSION SHOULD BE NEAR THE WINDWARD ISLANDS ON FRIDAY.
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 35 MPH…55 KM/H…WITH HIGHER GUSTS. LITTLE CHANGE IN STRENGTH IS LIKELY FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO…BUT SOME STRENGTHENING IS EXPECTED THEREAFTER.
Thanks for checking in on this Thursday, have a great end of your week!
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