Good Morning! I have just looked at the latest maps and there is no doubt about it and that is we are going to add to our official 90 degree days even at the Lafayette airport. We have only had just one day of 90 or above and by now we usually should have had 10. Last week we just missed 90 degrees in Lafayette AT THE AIRPORT last week when most of our weather watchers had 3 or more days of 90 or above. At WLFI we hit 91 three straight times. Since most of us do not live at the airport I still called it our official first heat wave of the season. I have issues with the thermometer location and remember it is location, location, location that really matters. If you put that same thermometer where most of us in Lafayette live our average number of 90 degree days would go from 16 to at least 21. This would be a great weather conference topic!
This discrepancy is due to the heat urban island effect in which all the concrete and manmade structures are prone to hold a lot of heat and of course heat up much more quickly than a grassy meadow or farm field. This same heat urban island effect has been proven to cause bigger storms to flare up on the outskirts of Lafayette in southern Tippecanoe County, the Dayton area and Harrison High School with unusually high numbers of tornadoes. The warmer air acts like a frontal boundary and where it meets the cooler air the contrast can cause storms to explode! This heat island effect has also caused much warmer temperatures in Lafayette not just during the day, but at night. We have seen temperatures stay much warmer at night in Lafayette with an east to southeast wind coming over the city. By time those warmer breezes reach the airport you have a temperature bust! Only this time our forecast temperatures would be too low.
Now we are getting ready for our second heat wave as we head into August and there is no doubt about it this time. Nobody, even the airport at Lafayette should have trouble reaching 90 degrees for several days starting this weekend. We may even reach heat index advisory criteria by the weekend. I will have more on this during tonight's weather. Teri brought up that early snow in 1989 and believe it or not that year also matches up well with this one. I will let you know how much snow that year brought us to try to keep you cool.
We also need to keep our guard up for thundersorms! Remnants of what once was Hurricane Dolly will increase our chance for heavy downpours and localized flooding starting late tonight and continuing through Wednesday night. Luckily it has been much drier the past 3 weeks and this should keep the Wabash from flooding. Some areas could easily see one to three inches of rain with locally higher amounts. Our severe risk over the next couple of days will likely be damaging wind gusts of 60 mph. But right now the biggest threats are lightning and flooding.
But be ready for anything! I am heading on vacation tomorrow and the meteorologist jinx will take full effect. Something big always happens when I take off work. I will still try to check in with you as much as possible while I am out of the office through August 10th. Make sure to take care of the weather team while I am gone. I want to thank Brian and Steve for helping to cover for me so I can keep my priorities in line and go spend some good quality time with my family. The great news is we can keep in touch on this blog. I will write soon and I expect you all to keep the big stuff away while I am gone! :) Where am I going? Hint: This state has been hit by two category five hurricanes and is known as the lightning capital of the world. It is also where my wife graduated from high school 20 years ago and we have a big reunion to go to.