Weather second half of year likely to be as challenging

Regina Bird

As we head into the second half of 2022, this year has given us our fair share of different weather. From record lows to record highs and even intense winter storms to rounds of severe weather, the Plains have experienced all four seasons sometimes outside of their typical times.

Severe weather in the middle part of the country in June isn’t out of the ordinary by any means. What was out of the ordinary this past month was the amount of large hail that fell. Many reports of 2-plus inches in diameter hail battered crops and left damage to homes and other structures. Tornadoes also left some damage along with strong winds as severe storms rolled through.

Sadly, over 2,000 head of cattle died in southwest Kansas around mid-June as hot and humid conditions were in place for several days with little air movement, and the nights offered little relief from those conditions, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The heat set records in many ways. Galveston and Amarillo, Texas, tied or set monthly record warm lows with 85 degrees Fahrenheit several nights in Galveston and 78 degrees on June 12 in Amarillo. Dodge City, Kansas, actually set its record warmest minimum temperature with 83 degrees on June 13. High temperatures that same day were also record setting for June 13 for McCook, Nebraska, and Hill City, Kansas, at 109 and 108 degrees, respectively.

For the month of July, above average temperatures are forecast from the southern Plains into Nebraska.

When you average out the temperatures for the longer period through September, that trend will continue for that area too, as well as a majority of the rest of the lower 48.

Unfortunately, moisture will be lacking for the next month from Nebraska stretching into the northern half of Texas.

Through September, precipitation totals will likely stay below seasonal norms for that same general area.

This will only add to the stress of already drought-stricken areas in the Plains. Specifically western parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska are expected to see drought persist the next few months.

In the wider view, La Niña is now expected to continue through the rest of 2022.

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for next month’s update.

Editor’s note: Regina Bird grew up on a farm near Belleville, Kansas. The views from the farm helped spur her interest in weather. Following high school, she went on to get a bachelor’s degree in meteorology from the University of Kansas. She currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.