It is time to crank up the air conditioner, make plans to head to the pool, or perhaps to enjoy an ice cream cone. The heat will be on for the next few days, likely including the 4th of July on Wednesday. The reason for this is a large dome of high pressure that has been a big factor for the very dry and scorching conditions across the Inter-mountain West, that has allowed wildfires to rage out of control as of late. This same area of high pressure had an indirect effect on the movement of Tropical Storm Debby, which deluged Florida with anywhere from 5-30" of rainfall, the highest amounts in the northern tier of the state. Below is how the weather map is expected to look from June 28-July 4th.
Although we are not quite on the northern edge or better known as the ring of fire, where occasional showers and storms come to life, there are a few chances of storms. The first opportunity is possible on Thursday, but only in an isolated fashion as a weak cold front slides through. We then have to wait until later on in the weekend on Sunday with what appears to be just chances of showers or scattered storms. Unlike the widespread storms that dumped some good amounts of rain locally back in the first half of June, we don't have a sure shot of strong to severe storms in the forecast.
Since we are on the topic, in order for this stretch of hot weather to be deemed a heat wave, there has to be 3 or more days in a row when the high makes it to 90 or higher. Wednesday, June 27th goes down as the first day for much of central & southern parts of our viewing area, with a good bet that more 90 degree temps follow suit into the weekend. So far this summer season, the most number of 90 degree days have been recorded in Wisconsin Rapids with 7, while Wausau has only experienced 2 days. Those numbers of course will rise between now and the middle of July.
In the meantime, with the dearth of rain in the offing, be sure to play it very cautiously working around or with fire. Although we are not currently in a drought situation, it doesn't take long after a period of really hot weather for the grass and other vegetation outside to become fuel for a spark or flame that gets out of control.
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