We have been in an active weather pattern since the beginning of February with really no long breaks of dry/nice weather. That looks to change this week as the overall weather pattern has changed for the time being.
The Jetstream, (the river of air where jet aircraft fly that separates the relatively cooler air from the relatively warmer air) has now bulged to the west of us and is now forcing weather systems away from us. In tern, it has also relieved us of the very hot and sticky weather we were dealing with virtually all of last week. The bulge in the west has created a trough in the east allowing relatively cool Canadian air to spill into the Upper Midwest giving us a more refreshing feel.
Out west is sizzling. Spots in the Dessert Southwest are flirting with all time records as heat builds to the west of us. For perspective, the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth was in Death Valley, California. That temperature was 134 degrees F. The forecast for today (Sunday) in that area was 130 degrees F. We will stay on the cooler, drier side of things. Below is an infrared satellite image. As its name suggests, it “sees” things in our atmosphere by way of temperature. On the image below, the brighter colors (whites, greens, yellows, etc.) are indicative of colder temperatures. As you go up in our atmosphere temperatures decrease, so where you see those colors, that’s where the clouds are. The brighter the colors, the higher up in the atmosphere the clouds are. The point i’m trying to make is you can actually see the heat in the west on satellite. When there are no clouds, the satellite takes the temperature of the ground. The darker the color the hotter the ground. Compare the black in Arizona and Dessert Southwest to the light gray of Minnesota and Iowa.
As a part of this dip in the Jetstream, there is an upper level low nestled in the base of the trough. The low is sitting off to our south and east so the rainy, cloudy weather will remain far away from us. Every now and then though during the weak ahead, pieces of energy could stray into our area and kick off showers. Now there is more to it than those pieces of energy. You have to look at the environment those pieces are coming into. Lucky for us, we have a pretty dry airmass in place and those pieces of energy aren’t very strong.
Basically what I’m saying is that rain chances aren’t very good over the next week and if rain does happen, it will be very isolated. It’s about time Mother Nature!!
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