Meteorological summer 2012 is the warmest to date in 91 years and the second-warmest over the city's 142 year observational records

Of all the summers on the books over Chicago’s official observational record dating back to 1871, only the 1921 season managed a temperature higher than the 77.5-degree reading on the books to date this year. That makes this the warmest opening two-thirds of a meteorological summer season here in 91 years.

 

The bleak rainfall situation continues across the area as this year’s drought worsens. At 4.56 inches, this summer’s rain tally ranks 23rd driest of the 142 years to which we can compare it.

 

Midway Airport’s July average temp of 82.6-degrees that site’s warmest since observations began there in 1928

 

Plentiful sunshine in July helped boost the month’s average temperature at Midway Airport to 82.6-degrees—a reading nearly 7-degrees above normal.

 

It’s the warmest July temperature there on the books.

 

July 2012 produced 77 percent of its possible sunshine—well above the 68 percent considered normal in July.

 

Drought and heat go hand-in hand; decreased clouds allow increased sunlight resulting in enhanced warming

 

It’s no accident the city’s record for most 90 and 100-degree days in a year occurred in 1988—another year of terrible drought in the region. Not only is precipitation lacking in drought years, so are clouds. With sunshine less inclined to be blocked by clouds, a surge in temperatures doesn’t come as a surprise.

 

Summer rain running nearly 10 inches behind a year ago; the season ranks 23rd driest  and has seen only two-thirds of its long-term average rainfall

 

The moisture situation remains a grim one across the area, particularly downstate and to Chicago’s west, where some areas have seen less than a quarter of their normal summer rain. But the Chicago area isn’t in great shape either. It is languishing with a summer rain tally of just 4.56-inches since June 1—an amount nearly 10-inches below  rainfall during the same period a year ago.

 

Although some sections of the metro area did benefit from increased precipitation in July, the rains weren’t drought-busters.

 

The dry weather underpinning this year’s drought had established a moisture deficit long before July arrived.

 

Dome of heat re-expanding; responsible for triple digit heat which broke records across 6 states Tuesday

 

Heat, which broke records across sections of six states, is to be on display again Wednesday across a large swath of the nation’s mid-section—and it’s expanding.

 

Among Tuesday’s record temperatures was the 111-degree high at Tulsa, OK; the 110-degree reading at Wichita Falls, Texas; 108-degrees at Oklahoma City; 106-degrees Dallas and 103-degrees St. Louis.

 

Rainfall prospects here are and have been abysmal; USDA expands “drought disaster declarations” to 31 states

 

There may be no more striking illustration of the severity of this drought than the number of states and counties declared agricultural disaster areas. Sections of 31 states are on the USDA  list, including 1,369 counties.

 

Late weekend pullback in heat appears temporary; some models hinting at resurging heat next week

 

Heat is slated to rebound in coming days. A frontal passage and predicted winds off the lake Friday may bring temperatures down a few degrees. A more substantial cold frontal passage by Sunday could introduce another break in 90+degree heat.But a longer range prediction by the European Center’s global forecast model—one which has established a particularly impressive  track record in handling this summer’s temperatures surges, suggests more heat may take hold across the Midwest next week. This isn’t good news in a region predicted to see sub-par rain coverage between now and then.

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