I knew it was too good to be true. In previous weeks, the long-range forecasts suggested that July would have below-average temperatures. Of course, that hasn't happened. Now the long-range forecasts are confirming what we already know: above-average temperatures and below-average precipitation will continue.
We're right in the bulleyes for the greatest chance of unseasonable warmth next week:
...and we're also projected to have a lack of rainfall:
For the year so far, most of Southeast Missouria has received below-average precipitation. This trend has been most pronounced in the last 90 days, as shown in the following map. Yellow and orange areas are below normal, while green and blue are above normal:
We're stuck in rut as a stubborn area of high pressure to the south keeps most of the thunderstorms and cooler air to the north. Northern Missouri and Iowa continue to get hammered by heavy rainfall and severe thunderstorms. For the next five days, a large chunk of Iowa is expected to see 3-4 more inches of rain:
Naturally, this will keep the Mississippi River running high. The river has dropped in recent days -- enough to allow the floodwall gates to open in downtown Cape -- but it's projected to go back up.
It's entirely possible that this frustrating weather pattern will continue all summer. The heavy rain to our north has been called the "Ring of Fire" by some forecasters, as wave after wave of strong thunderstorms roll through the same areas.
This week, the "Ring of Fire" dropped far enough south to give us some thunderstorms, but for the most part the storms died as they reached Southeast Missouri, still leaving us with below-average rainfall totals. The folks up north would like the rain to end right now dammit, while we could use some more rain (but we certainly don't want their tornadoes, wind damage, and flash flooding).
The "Ring of Fire" is projected to move back into Iowa over the next several days, leaving us with temperatures that may be the hottest of the summer in the upper 90s. The only saving grace is that humidity should be slightly lower than in previous weeks -- we'll be downgraded to "merely awful" instead of "ridiculously oppressive." Nevertheless, a Heat Advisory is in effect for this afternoon and will likely be issued for Friday (forecast high 96°F at Cape) and Saturday (high 98°F).
In other news, I have a bad feeling about the tropical system (Tropical Depression 3, soon to be Tropical Storm Bonnie) that is brewing over the Bahamas. Assuming it continues to strengthen, the storm will likely skirt by Florida and enter the Gulf. This is similar to the path that Katrina followed.