The Heat Is On
The hottest weather so far this summer arrives late this week and the following week. This heat is nothing unusual for Arkansas. It will be dangerous and I expect heat advisories and excessive heat warnings to be issued. Heat is the number 1 weather related killer. PLEASE stay hydrated and take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
While the heat index temperatures will reach 105° to 110° or higher, will the actual air temperature reach 100° for the 1st time? With this type of pattern, it would appear likely. However, we still have plenty of soil moisture. As long as that's present, it will be tough for the thermometer to officially hit triple digits. If the pattern persists, we will likely reach it. You would be surprised how quickly the soil moisture can evaporate and the ground dry out.
Look at soil moisture anomalies in June. We're well above average, but look at the southern plains into the southern Rockies. It's dry! That's where drought conditions persist.
The drought monitor as of July 2nd shows some of the drought reaching far northwest Arkansas. The core of the worst conditions over Colorado, west Texas, and southwest Kansas.
At this time, the drought outlook for July does not show much change. Drought will persist west, but doesn't show signs of developing further east, except northwest Arkansas.
If this pattern continues, we will go above 100° in time. Excessive heat is likely from the 11th through the 17th. The soil moisture will begin to dry out. If we reach 100, it will late this month and/or August. Remember, we have not had back-to-back summers without 100 degree heat since 1967-1968. At this time, I still think there's a decent chance we do it. Until that does happen, remember to pay attention to the heat index. That will be well above 100.