Thursday, July 05, 2012

More Records Broken Than At A Disco Party

Philly's high of 98 did not set a record but it did equal the hottest we've been all summer...and is our third day this month where the temperature exceeded 96 or higher.  It also wasn't anywhere near the hottest temperature in the US -- many places bested Philadelphia's 98 degree mark.  St. Louis, at 105, was one of the hottest in the US today and set a record last reached in 1911.  Other records were reached from Wisconsin to Tennessee, east to Georgetown, DE (which hit 100 in the Delmarva this afternoon).

The core of the record heat has been in the Great Lakes and Midwest though -- 100 to 105 has been common across these areas for the past couple of days and will likely continue that way for at least another day on Friday before a cool front slips southeast in time for the weekend.  This record heat -- shades of 1930's style torchiness that made many a state record high -- is partly due to very dry conditions over the Midwest and Plains.
Varying degrees of drought are occurring from Indiana into the Mississippi Valley back west to Colorado and Kansas...remember the latter two states were places that were in the 105-113 range last week...this heat has shifted east into the Midwest and Ohio Valley where dry soils are adding fuel to the fire...and helping to boost temperatures since the sun does not to expend energy evaporating ground soil...dry soil conditions are more likely to bake and influence additional temperatures.  As a result, an already hot airmass can become hotter.

For the Corn Belt (Illinois, Indiana), tomorrow is the last hot day.  Missouri will have to wait until Sunday for some relief.  For us, Saturday will be our hottest day and yes, 100 is possible.  We'll bring up the "ugh" factor of Saturday's potential triple digit heat tomorrow morning.