As the heat wave continues, I think we should be clear about something after NASA released some new information yesterday. The recent heat wave is not directly connected to the topic of climate change or this release of 14 consecutive months of above normal temperatures. That's a global temperature, not a reflection of what is happening locally. In fact, I did some calculating yesterday to see how things stack up for at least one spot in our state. So I looked at Wichita numbers and found that the first 6 months of 2012 were actually hotter than what we've had so far this year.
There is a very big different between climate and weather.
Climate - a collection of weather over a VERY long time
Weather - the conditions that are happening now
I think it's important to keep those distinctions in your head because they can be mixed around and confusing. We just have to keep some things in perspective when reading and listening to future predictions on major weather events.
Ring of Fire: Kansas is caught in the middle of the "ring of fire" this week. Because of the big high pressure "heat dome", thunderstorms are rotating around us. The wind blows clockwise and storms are carried across the Rockies and into the northern Plains. Other storms east of us move to the south.
NEXT WEEK: Not as hot!!
It's looking like next week will not be as hot. The big dome of high pressure is going to setup farther west and that should help to keep us out of the 100s. This will also raise the possibility of scattered storms for our area. We are right at the hottest part of the year. The normal high is 93, but by July 31st and into August, the average begins dropping. Long range trends seem to point toward more thunderstorm chances and less intense heat heading into August. I'll have a more detailed outlook coming very soon.