Although summer tends to be synonymous with heat, record-breaking heat was a big story during the month of July for parts of the plains.
Records were topped in several locations in Texas during the month. Midland, Del Rio and Brownsville, all noted record-breaking heat with Corpus Christi coming in with three record breaking days in a row starting July 11. On those days, temperatures reached 101 degrees Fahrenheit, 101 degrees and 103 degrees to set or tie record high temperatures, according to National Weather Service climate records. Dalhart, Texas, also had a stretch of record-breaking heat beginning July 18. Three days in a row topped records when temperatures reached 105, 108 and 107 degrees.
Colorado had a mix of record-breaking temperatures during July. The first half of the month included a few record-breaking cold lows in Colorado including 37 degrees in Alamosa and 52 degrees in Grand Junction on July 9. The mercury soared though later in the month with record highs on July 19 of 105 degrees in Pueblo and 104 degrees in Burlington.
During the first half of July, creeks and rivers swelled and flash flooding occurred in portions of central Nebraska as a result of heavy rain. Severe storms were also the case in portions of the plains with some hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes occurring during July.
Hurricane (and later Tropical Storm) Barry also brought record setting rainfall to parts of the south. 4.21 inches of rain fell in Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas, which set a new record for July 14.
For August, above average precipitation is expected from the northern Plains into northern Oklahoma. Much of Texas is favored for above normal August temperatures. In contrast, the northern plains into Nebraska should see temperatures below average temperatures.
Looking further out, the northern plains into Kansas should continue to see the amount of moisture that falls above average the next few months. Temperatures the next three months should be warmer than normal for Texas, Oklahoma and the western half of Kansas.
After a stint of weak El Niño conditions, a return to ENSO-neutral is now expected in the coming months. ENSO-neutral is now forecast to continue into at least the fall and possibly the winter as well.
I’m always keeping an eye to the sky (and the weather patterns), so watch for September’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 currently works as a meteorologist for NTV and KFXL in central Nebraska. Follow her on Twitter: @ReginaBirdWX.