Tuesday Gully Washers: Sure Bet or Long Shot?
Talk about living in the desert. Our climate today resembled that of the Strip in Vegas. If you bet on clouds, you rolled snake eyes as nary a puff of cumulus dotted the afternoon sky. The incandescent sun went to work on the parched landscape like a scantily clad waitress working the black jack tables. For sure, Ol Sol wowed her customers. When she set this evening in a blaze of glory, we all did a double-take at her fiery beauty.
Todd’s morning forecast of the hottest day of the season may have seemed like a longer shot than playing for one card to win an inside straight. But when the final tally was amassed, the thermometer crested at a mercurial 97 degrees. It was as though Todd had called the winning number on a roll of roulette. Construction workers can attest to the scorching heat as they went thru their thermoses of cold water faster than the crap master could tell you to pass the dice.
By the way, the record high of 98 was set back in the Dust Bowl Days of the 1930s. No matter how hot it gets this summer, we are unlikely to break even 1 daily record due to the intense dryness and heat of the 30s.
Not surprisingly, I heard more than one comment about how muggy the air was today. O’ Contraire my friend! Afternoon humidity levels dipped into the desert-like 25-30% range. So rather that feeling like the steam bath (wet heat) at the Y, today’s air was hot and dry (as it is at the sauna).
If you watched the late afternoon Pinpoint Doppler 3 Radar Scope with us, you saw a nice cluster of storms form in Central and Western Kentucky (generally south and west of Lexington). A few cells managed to roam as far east as the Daniel Boone National Forest. There, the humidity has already made the transition from desert wasteland to tropical jungle. Since I am confident our humidity will soar tomorrow, I expect our chance for not only showers but more importantly tropical downpours will be at its highest level in 6 weeks on Tuesday.
What makes Tuesday’s weather unique is the surge of high humidity will arrive at dawn. This should set the stage for a quick round of morning showers in parts of the region, perhaps accompanied by a rumble of thunder. Since these cells don’t exist right now, it is impossible to say when and where they will form and hence where they will move. Just check with Amy and here at WSAZ.COM for the latest radar returns. In a nutshell, I feel the air will be in a Go-position for rain “from the get go” on Tuesday.
By afternoon, the air will feel like Amazon jungle! The analogy I used with Justin tonight when we discussed the weather was that just a puff of a wind could excite a storm to form tomorrow afternoon. So watch for the heavens to open up at least once. Street flooding downpours could swallow up some storm culverts and a fast and furious flash flood could inundate a few viaducts. AGAIN, UNTIL STORMS FORM, NO WAY TO KNOW WHO WILL GET HIT HARDEST.
One final word of caution, the definition of a drought to the meteorologist is when rain fails to fall despite ideal conditions for rain. Tuesday’s forecast of rain with a moist ground would inevitably produce heavy storms. In a drought year however when the ground is rock hard and cracking, something fishy happens as the dry ground has a negative feedback and helps to suppress showers and thunderheads from forming. This is not a cop out on my part, but a reminder how difficult summer rainfall forecasting can be.
To sum up, construction workers, I expect 2 or 3 showers on your work site on Tuesday with an hour or 2 of rain total. So tough it out early and consider getting to work early and skipping lunch to get a full day’s pay before the afternoon monsoon threatens!
As for my promise of a crop update, sorry, but I will save that for later this week as I ascertain how rains have helped the on-going drought.