Well, let me cut to the chase! We will have to watch things together very carefully over the next week with 4 of the next 7 days bringing us a chance of severe thunderstorms. We will also have the hottest weather in about 8 months with 90 degree weather looking more likely on Thursday. But what happens when you combine July heat with an early Spring jet stream and one of the strongest June storm systems on record? It means trouble...lots of trouble and could bring the biggest severe weather outbreak of the season to the United States, in a season that has already been on a record pace for severe weather and tornadoes. The tornado count is now up over 950. The record pace up to this point is only about 780. This is incredible. You can blame this record pace on one of the strongest La Nina's on record. Even though the La Nina has weakened it has left its imprint on the pattern all around the globe and things will not really iron back out until late summer or early autumn.
Up to this point the Lafayette area has dodged the worst of the severe weather because of a suppressed jet stream. But now that we are in June, there is no holding back this jet stream any longer. The longer daylight hours have allowed plenty of hot weather to build up in the Deep South and this is overwhelming the chilly air we saw win the weather battle in May. This hot air forms a "ring of fire" weather pattern you see above. In this pattern, thunderstorms like to ride up and around these hot domes of high pressure. Texas had plenty of 100 degree heat today. Now on the northern edge of the heat wave you have cooler air that can mix in helping to create plenty of thunderstorms, giving nature the meteorological equivalent of ring around the collar, which in this case forms a huge ring of thunderstorms on the satellite and radar pictures. Nature can take us to the cleaners in a hurry with this set-up. The jet stream is now forced farther north and these higher upper-level winds can create havoc with our thunderstorms this time of year. We saw what those menacing high upper-level winds can do to our weather last Friday with 3 tornadoes in one day. Unfortunately it was just a tune-up and we may be locked into this pattern for at least the next 10 days. I am concerned about damaging wind, large hail, and even isolated tornadoes on Friday. We also cannot rule out flooding. You can see why below.
The Wabash River crested at 13.9 feet on Sunday and today it will be back below flood stage. But since it is nearly at bank full it will not take much for more flooding. I am also concerned about the rivers and streams farther north like Carpenters Creek in Remington. Mary Anne had 3 inches of rain in a short time on Friday and she could double that easily in the next week. Remember flooding kills many more people than tornadoes in the United States each year. I am not liking the bad feeling I am getting in my gut at this time about this pattern. I hope I am wrong. Now speaking of heavy rain, here is a great picture sent in by Goldie Ford from Burlington, Indiana. She witnessed a gully-washer on Monday evening. You are looking at one impressive rain shaft. Get used to more scenes like these below.
This is also a reminder that meteorological summer began on June 1st or Sunday. It also marks the true start of the peak of our thunderstorm season from now through August. Almost every day this week we will have a chance of a thunderstorm. I will from time to time give percentages just so you know that I cannot promise rain to everybody this time of year when thunderstorms are in the forecast. You have to realize our weather is driven by heat and humidity this time of year rather than fronts and as a result you sometimes get these popcorn thunderstorms that sometimes are only a couple miles wide in diameter. So literally your neighbor this time of year could see rain while on the other side of the road you could stay dry!
Ahhhhh, it is certainly meteorological summer! The reason why your calendar says the first day of summer is not until June 20th is because most calendars are based on astronomy and not weather. Here in Lafayette we are now going through not only the peak of our thunderstorm season, but our 90 hottest days on average so the meteorological calendar really does work out much better. Meteorological summer is officially now through August 31st. Remember the sunscreen and to check in with your one and only local weather team from where you live! I will check back with you here on the blog with the latest on the timing of any strong thunderstorms that may move our way today. The best chance for any severe weather watches or warnings still looks like this afternoon as a warm front lifts northward. I will talk to you soon. Be safe out there!
Welcome aboard Brenneco plumbing! It is great to have you as our weather blog sponsor. As you will find out.....Lafayette has the best weather bloggers in the country!! By having your support we it will allow us to continue to expand and make this site even better! Thanks again! Now I will have to come up with a nice precast later today! Should I do a John Madden chalk talk? :)