We have arrived to August, the last full month of summer â?? even though summer does not officially end until September 21st. August can bring some very warm days to Mid-Missouri and that trend looks to hold true this August. Letâ??s jump into my August forecast for Mid-Missouri.
Temperature & Precipitation
Julyâ??s temperatures were well below normal compared to the 30 year averageâ?¦ however, I do not think August will be the same. August looks like it could be the hottest month of summer 2014 and the driest month as well.
Temperatures look like they will end up a bit above average this August, which will be quite the change from what Mid-Missouri experienced in the month of June and July. August will start off below average, but by the second week the blow torch of summer could be on full blast across Missouri. With severe to extreme drought conditions in place across the southern plains, our weather will start to feel the impact.
Very hot and dry air will start to creep north and east as drought continues to expand across the southern plains. Temperatures near 100 degrees look possible for a few days this month. Records in early and middle August are in the middle and upper 100s but should remain safe this year. After this short stretch of hot weather, we should return to normal or slightly below normal.The average temperature at the beginning of the month is at 88 degrees and by the end of the month we are at a normal temperature of 85 degrees. Even if we do not hit a record, Mid-Missouri will experience a few very hot days in mid August. The Climate Prediction Center has most of Missouri in the slightly below average temperature range for the month of August, however, as stated above, I think we will end the month with a slightly above average mean temperature.
CPC temperature outlook for August 2014
In terms of precipitation, August appears it will be below average for rainfall. The warm, dry air mass from the southern plains should keep rainfall down this August. Normally, we get 4.36 inches of rain. A few rain/thunderstorms events will occur, but should be less than average. The Climate Prediction Center puts Missouri shows Missouri in the â??equal chancesâ?? for below or above normal precipitation but I think below average precipitation is going to end up being the story by the end of the month.
CPC precipitation outlook for August 2014
Drought conditions in Mid-Missouri have expanded slightly during July. We have seen very timely rains in July as well as the entire summer. Rainfall for the month of July was 1.46" and for the year is 21.35 (4.04 inches below average). Abnormally dry conditions have started to impact much of southern Mid-Missouri over the last month and I think this will expand a bit through the month of August. As stated in the Temperature & Precipitation section, overall warmer and drier conditions will set in for August. This will bring the drought conversation front and center by the end of the month. No, I do not think hardcore drought conditions take over Missouri, but I do anticipate that more much more of western Missouri will be considered abnormally to moderately dry (yellow and light orange colors on the picture below) and expect parts of southwestern Missouri to be in a severe drought by the end of the month.
Drought condition as of Thursday, July 31, 2014 from NOAA.
Highlights for August:
*Big time summer heat returns mid-month, a few days of 100 degrees are possible. It shouldn't stay long.
*Rainfall will be below normal, drought conditions begin to become a concern.
Looking ahead to the fall:
El Nino appears that it will set in either late fall or early winter. El Nino is classified as a warming of the tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean temperatures need to be at least 0.5 degrees Celsius above normal for at least three months and this has occurred. So, why arenâ??t we considered to be in El Nino? The reason is because the atmospheric portion of El Nino has not occurred â?? this is the large area of lower pressure that forms in the Central Pacific. Once this forms, El Nino conditions will be declared. Depending on when El Nino begins and how strong El Nino is this fall and winter, it could really play havoc on the long term forecastâ?¦ but I will save that for my Fall long range forecasts!
Warmer waters in the equator region of the Pacific cause an area of low pressure and showers/thunderstorms to form in the atmosphere.
How did I do with the July forecast?
When putting together these forecast, I like to go back and look at the previous monthâ??s forecast and analyze how my forecast went. This allows me to sharpen my skills in long range forecasting. This also allows me to explain why some of my predictions did or not occur during the previous month.
July was a month that was full of temperature swings from 54 degrees as the lowest temperature and 95 as the highest. We saw a pleasant July 4th with temperatures in the lower 80s. We also experienced three cool shots from the north that left our temperatures in the upper 70s and lower 80s for a few days each time we cooled down. I thought that when the month was said and done we would see temperatures that were close to normal. Mid-Missouri actually felt temperatures that were statistically cooler than normal, but not abnormally cool. While these cool shots from the north aren't uncommon for us to see, they can be difficult to forecast a month in advance. Julyâ??s normal overall temperature is 77.3 degrees and we were 4.0 degrees below that mark. I thought that record high temperatures would be out of the question and we probably wouldnâ??t touch the 100 degree mark and both of those held true during the month of Julyâ?¦ though there were a few places that flirted with the century mark one or two days.
In terms of precipitation, my thinking was that Mid-Missouri would end up close to normal and we were actually well below normal. We picked up 1.46 inches of rain; the average is 4.37. That is a difference of 2.91 inches.
A link to the July forecast can be here: July 2014 Forecast
With July 2014 being a particularly cool month, I thought it would be interesting to go back and compare this July to July of 2012 when we had a hardcore drought across the Midwest and felt some of the hottest temperatures in recent memory. We saw high temperatures in the 90s and 100s everyday but one that year. July 2012 was the 4th warmest on record, but July 2014 was the 5th coolest -- quite the change! A full breakdown of monthly stats can be seen below.
A comparison of July 2012 and July 2014.