Area weather gives cool news for weekend

Friday, August 29, 2003

Mother Nature shut down the blast furnace on Thursday as the daily high temperature in Cape Girardeau dipped below 90 degrees for the first time since Aug. 14.

"This heat wave is history," said University of Missouri Extension climatologist Pat Guinan in Columbia.

He said a high-pressure ridge that has dominated Missouri weather is breaking up and should be gone by the weekend. High temperatures are forecast to drop into the upper 70s next week.

A summer storm that scattered showers through parts of Southeast Missouri Wednesday night offered some early relief, the National Weather Service said.

Area residents, who baked in 96-degree heat on Wednesday, saw a high of 89 degrees on Thursday. But under sunny skies and with 58 percent humidity, it felt like 93 degrees, forecasters said.

Brandee Young of Jackson said 89-degree heat is welcome compared to the recent summer sizzle.

"It's been too hot to even be outside," said Young as she pushed her 2-year-old son, Nathaniel, in a swing on a playground at Capaha Park in Cape Girardeau while her 4-year-old son, Gabriel, played on a slide.

Forecasters are calling for noticeably cooler temperatures -- highs in the upper 70s to around 80 degrees -- by Monday.

"We are expecting a halfway decent cold wave to come through here," said Kyle Sutherland, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky. "That will probably do it for the hot weather this year."

Much of Missouri had been under stagnant weather for the past four to five weeks, climatologist Guinan said.

Farmers welcomed the cooler temperatures and the wet weather. More rain could fall today.

"It is going to help everything," said Gerald Bryan, regional agronomist with the University of Missouri Extension in Jackson.

Northern Cape Girardeau County and Perry County have seen little rain this summer, Bryan said. "In the last month or so, we have had essentially a drought situation around here," he said.

Wednesday night's storm was scattered, with some areas getting a couple inches of rain and others hardly a drop.

At Marble Hill, Mo., 2.18 inches of rain fell. But the weather service reported only 0.09 of an inch of rain fell in Cape Girardeau.

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