Today was the 8th consecutive day in the 90s at the Purdue Airport & our WLFI ob site. This also made it the 18th day in the 90s for this summer, the most so early since the historically hot, dry summer of 2012.
Highs today reached 89-97. I said 97 instead of 96 due to our 97 high here at our WLFI ob site & a couple other observing sites on the west side measuring 97, as well. Southside of Lafayette CWOP/APRSWXNET station hit 96.
This occurred where the sun stayed out the longest & where soils are the driest right now. I have measured just 2.32" of rainfall since May 29 at our site.
Our heat index peaked at 104.
Heat indices reached 96-108.
Rainfall varied greatly over the area today. Highest totals were found in southern Fountain County where up to 3.2" has fallen. 1-2.5" fell over the Kokomo area in less than 1 hour. A testament to the rainfall variability, 2.72" was measured just west of Centennial in southern Fountain County, while just 8 miles north-northeast of that location, 0.89" was measured near Steam Corner.
An apparent microburst occurred on the north side of Kokomo with trees, tree limbs & powerlines downed.
Another one was evident on radar just northeast of Crawfordsville, but I have not received any wind damage reports from that area. Also, pea to nickel-sized hail showed up on radar in that area.
Pea-sized hail occurred on the eastside of Lafayette today, as well.
All rainfall today of more than 0.10" is on this Doppler radar rainfall estimate image below.
Green areas are 1" or greater today, while the yellows are +2".
Clouds will decrease tonight with haze & patchy fog. Lows of 68-74 are likely.
Highs of 91-97 are likely Thursday with heat indices reaching 99-109. It does not look like as many storms Thursday as compared to today................until the Thursday evening hours.
The isolated storms are possible late morning through afternoon with south-southwest wind 10-20 mph.
The better storm coverage will then occur in that evening period as subtle MCV pivots through.
A bit of a break should follow, then a round of showers/storms are likely overnight Thursday to early Friday as surface low/MCV & weak cold front pass.
An isolated severe gust is possible Thursday-Thursday evening with a few severe gusts possible Thursday overnight-early Friday.
Thursday evening to early Friday:
After sinking air & lack of rainfall for part of Friday, a few isolated storms may pop in the PM with northwest winds 15-25 mph & highs 84-90. The humidity will still lead to heat indices of 88-97 for a time, however.
Consensus is enough now to shift risk of some storms to Sunday, rather than Saturday. I went for 40% in the PM for Sunday rather than Saturday.
Saturday looks partly cloudy with 86-91 with heat indices 87-95.
Sunday will feature highs of 85-90 with heat indices of 90-96.
Upper ridge re-expands next week with intense heat wave developing.
Conditions are favorable for long-lived MCS (potential derecho) Wednesday night or Thursday night from South Dakota to the Northeast U.S.
It could skim our area. We will need to monitor closely.
95-102 for actual air temperatures is possible late next week with heat indices 100-112.
Some relief will arrive with a cold front around July 24 with storms.
Relief should be rather brief as another heat surge occurs potentially July 27-31.
Bigger changes to cooler weather are in-store for the first several days of August after some storms.
However this big, hot upper ridge is the big player with intense heat this month:
Overall mean temperature anomalies now to July 22:
Overall rainfall anomalies now to July 22 (the "Ring of Fire" pattern with the hot upper ridge & the more active tropics show up well here):
August is trending warmer than normal as more rounds of heat return after a cooler start to the month.
August is also trending drier than normal. We will monitor to see if more of the active tropics bring moisture farther northward or any systems track farther northward. This would raise out monthly rainfall totals.