Summer’s sizzle has been in a holding pattern

Regina Bird

Heat was probably the biggest story in the month of July as even monthly records were set in parts of the United States. It is typical to get some heat in July, but this was certainly extreme heat.

Interestingly enough, it was hot not only in the Plains, but across a lot of the U.S. Parts of the United Kingdom even experienced record breaking heat during the month including the warmest temperature ever recorded there (40.3 degrees Celsius or 104.5 degrees Fahrenheit) if confirmed.

There were so many daily records set across the Plains during the month of July, it would be an extensive list if every new record was included. Monthly high temperature records were set in many locations in Texas in July including College Station, Austin-Camp Mabry and Houston. Farther north, McCook, Nebraska, set a new record for July 10 hitting 111 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature also marked the warmest day in McCook since June 2012.

Although likely overshadowed by the heat, we did have some severe storm activity, too. No one wants the rain combined with hail or wind, but some areas did pick up some beneficial moisture with the severe storms. Any moisture is welcome, although for some this didn’t even put a dent in the drought conditions that remained and stressed crops in parts of the Plains.

The heat doesn’t look to let up into August as the entire Plains are forecast to see above average temperatures for the month.

Even through October, we will likely see that trend continue with temperatures averaging above the seasonal norms.

Most of the southern to central Plains will likely see below average precipitation into the next month. The only exceptions look to be western Texas and the Oklahoma panhandle.

The next three months keep precipitation below normal for this time of year for Nebraska, Kansas, central and western Oklahoma and western Texas.

This will not help ongoing drought conditions and areas that have had some improvement as of late will likely see that sliding back. It appears from Nebraska into Texas the entire area is expected to see drought continue or materialize.

Globally, La Niña conditions are now favored to remain through the remainder of 2022.

I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for September’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