Temperature hits record high in some regions of the Plains 

Regina Bird

The mercury soared as heat waves were once again the main story of August for parts of the Plains.  

Some areas experienced incredible stretches of relentless heat. This was most notable in Texas. One reporting station in Austin set a new record for consecutive days of reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer. The new streak lasted 45 days, breaking the old record of 27 days set in 2011. College Station had triple-digit heat for a new record of 42 days, ending Aug. 19. While not as long of a stretch, a reporting station in Houston also had a record number of days of the temperature climbing to 100 degrees or warmer with 16 days during the first part of August. 

Amid these long stretches of heat, some spots also marked daily record highs. Continuing in Texas, Abilene hit 111 degrees on Aug. 17. This not only was a new daily record but tied the all-time record for that location. Wichita Falls reached highs of 113 degrees both Aug. 9 and 17.  

Kansas also had record-breaking heat, with several new daily records on Aug. 19. On that day, Salina hit 113 degrees while Wichita and Topeka were only a couple degrees shy of that with new records of 111 degrees.  

On the lower end of the thermometer and farther north, daily record lows were noted in Imperial at 48 degrees and McCook at 50 degrees, both in Nebraska, earlier that week on Aug. 15.  

El Niño conditions remain at this time and are forecast to continue into the winter months.  

Looking into the start of fall, September holds no strong signals at this time for above or below normal precipitation for the central Plains. The month of September is forecast to include above average temperatures from the southern Plains into the northern Plains. 

That trend of above normal temperatures will continue into November for Texas, much of Oklahoma and western Kansas.  

There are not any strong indications of above or below normal precipitation during that three-month stretch for the Plains.  

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 worked as a television meteorologist for nine years in Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX