Monday, July 12, 2010

Back to the July Fry

After getting the month of July off to a cloudy and wet start, we will be settling back into reality this week.

By reality, I mean temperatures getting up into the upper 90's with heat index values in the 105-108° range.

Our heat will be returning in large part because of a ridge of high pressure that will be building across the Southern Plain states by mid-week.

As I've said several times, when you get high pressure in the mid-levels in the atmosphere during the summer months, that means hot and dry weather will prevail.

This high pressure ridge means the air temperatures aloft are very warm. This warm air prevents the clouds from building into afternoon rain showers. It puts a "lid" or "cap" on the atmosphere and keeps those cooling, afternoon rain showers from forming.

As the air sinks, it also heats up. You can think of this sinking air like airing up a bicycle tire. When you add air to the tire, you are compressing the air. As a result, the air heats up. That's why the tire is hot when you get done airing it up.

The same scenario plays out in the atmosphere when you get strong high pressure aloft.

In the meantime, plan on turning your sprinkler systems back on later this week, because your yards will be thirsting for some water.

After all, this ridge will steer any rainmakers well away from us over the next 5 to 7 days.