ST. LOUIS (AP) — The latest U.S. Drought Monitor survey shows an increase in extreme drought conditions in four Plains states but a slight decrease in the overall area of the lower 48 states experiencing some form of drought. The map posted Thursday on the monitor’s website shows that nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states is experiencing some drought. Recent rainfall pushed the percentage down to 62.91, from last week’s 63.86. The report says one-fifth of the U.S. is experiencing extreme drought. That number ticked up nearly 2 percentage points to 22.3 percent, largely because of worsening conditions in parts of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.
Here’s tghe Freese-Notis forecast for Atlantic & the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic, including Wednesday’s High, our overnight Low, and more…
Here’s something else to blame on the prolonged heat wave — higher gasoline prices. Gail Weinholzer, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says the increase has been gradual, but definite, over the past several weeks of the continuing, blistering hot spell. “In Iowa, as an example, the current average is $3.47, a month ago, it was $3.37,” Weinholzer says. “So, Iowa’s seen about a dime increase in the last month.” The price of gas in Iowa ranges from as low as $3.32 a gallon in Sioux City to as high as $3.49 in Des Moines. The national average is $3.52 a gallon. Weinholzer says there are several reasons for the hike. “One, certainly is the higher global oil prices as well as higher demand because of the busy, summer driving season, along with the higher ethanol prices due to the drought that many areas of the country are seeing,” she says.
As corn plants suffer in the fields from the heat, the price of corn is skyrocketing due to the expected lower supply come harvest time. Weinholzer says gas prices should remain mostly flat through Labor Day but will likely begin to fall in September. “If there’s an increase at all, it will be slight and after Labor Day, we’ll start to see prices decline if everything goes as expected,” she says. Market developments that could change the August forecast include: strengthening or worsening of the global economy, U-S employment data, the hurricane season and geopolitical events in the Middle East.
359 AM CDT THU AUG 2 2012
EARLY THIS MORNING…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS. SOUTHEAST WIND NEAR 5 MPH. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS 20 PERCENT.
TODAY...PARTLY SUNNY. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE MORNING. HIGH IN THE LOWER 90S. SOUTH WIND NEAR 5 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTHEAST AROUND 5 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS 20 PERCENT.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW IN THE UPPER 60S. NORTHEAST WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
FRIDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HOT. HIGH IN THE MID 90S. SOUTHEAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH. HIGHEST HEAT INDEX READINGS 100 TO 102 IN THE AFTERNOON.
FRIDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY THROUGH MIDNIGHT THEN BECOMING MOSTLY CLOUDY. A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOW IN THE LOWER 70S. SOUTHEAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTH AFTER MIDNIGHT.
SATURDAY…PARTLY SUNNY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGH IN THE UPPER 80S. NORTHWEST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.
SATURDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW IN THE LOWER 60S.
SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. HIGH IN THE LOWER 80S. LOW IN THE LOWER 60S.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa state climatologist says the 2012 drought is even worse than the 1988 event and the worst since 1936. Climatologist Harry Hillaker told The Gazette that the heat and dry July has pushed this year’s drought above ’88 drought for breadth and severity. Hillaker says the 1936 drought in Iowa also was fueled by a torrid July, the hottest and second-driest in 140 years.
Climatologist Brian Fuchs at the National Drought Mitigation Center in Lincoln, Neb., says “heat makes droughts drier, and droughts make heat hotter.” Fuchs says a high-pressure system that has kept many storms from watering the nation’s grain belt has strengthened and could remain as a rain barrier for two more months. The center reported last week that the drought covers two-thirds of the continental U.S.
One of Iowa’s hottest-ever Julys is behind us now, but forecasters say the August ahead won’t be much different. State climatologist Harry Hillaker says the prolonged drought of the past several weeks put this July among the stickiest in Iowa’s history, though the wealth of month-end data is still being tabulated. “Generally, you’re looking at probably the third-hottest July on record for the state of Iowa and that’s based on 140 years of records,” Hillaker says. “The last time we would’ve had a hotter July is probably going to be 1936 and the other one that was hotter was way back in 1901.”
Here in Atlantic, the average High for the month was 94-degrees. The average Low was 66. We had four days when the temperature was 100-degrees or greater. The hottest day was July 25th, when we hit 102-degrees. There were only three days during the month, when the High temp in Atlantic was less than 90-degrees. Some areas of the state will finish off the month being several inches short on rainfall. In Atlantic, we received just a trace of rain last month.
When the numbers are all in statewide, this July will likely be the fifth-driest July in Iowa history, he says, and the month is among some notorious company. Hillaker says “The top three are: 1886 brought us the driest summer on record, 1936 was our hottest summer on record, and 1894, the third-driest July, ended up being the driest growing season on record.” Just because we’re in a new month doesn’t mean there’ll be a new forecast. Hillaker says it looks like August will be more of the same. “Temperatures, at least in the beginning part of August, I still expect will be averaging well above normal,” he says. “Normal highs right now are about 85 or so so 90s is well above normal.” There’s a chance for a few more rain showers on the horizon but “nothing looks very substantial.”
Temperatures for the next week are expected to be above-normal but not as extreme as the past couple weeks. Forecasters also say another sustained period of 100-degree-plus weather is not likely, at least for the next few weeks.
(Radio Iowa/Ric Hanson-KJAN)
Here’s the Freese-Notis forecast for Atlantic & the KJAN listening area, along with weather data for Atlantic, from KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson….
Today: Mostly sunny. Hot. High in the upper 90s. South wind 5 to 10 mph. Highest heat index readings 100 to 105 in the afternoon.
Tonight: Partly cloudy through midnight…then mostly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms after midnight. Low in the lower 70s. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Thursday: Hot and humid. Partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. High in the mid 90s. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Highest heat index readings 100 to 102 in the afternoon.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 70s. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph.
Friday: Mostly sunny. High in the mid 90s. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Highest heat index readings 100 to 102 in the afternoon.
Friday Night: Mostly cloudy. Low in the lower 70s.
Saturday: Partly sunny with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. High in the upper 80s.
Saturday Night: Partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. Low in the lower 60s.
Sunday And Sunday Night: Mostly clear. High in the mid 80s. Low in the mid 60s.
Here’s the Freese-Notis forecast for Atlantic, and the KJAN listening area, and weather data for Atlantic from KJAN News Director, Ric Hanson…
338 AM CDT TUE JUL 31 2012
TODAY…SUNNY…HOT. HIGH IN THE MID 90S. NORTHEAST WIND NEAR 5 MPH.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW AROUND 70. EAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
WEDNESDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. HOT. HIGH IN THE UPPER 90S. SOUTH WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOW IN THE LOWER 70S. SOUTHEAST WIND NEAR 10 MPH. HIGHEST HEAT INDEX READINGS AROUND 100 THROUGH MIDNIGHT.
THURSDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. HIGH IN THE MID 90S. EAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW IN THE LOWER 70S.
FRIDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. HIGH IN THE LOWER 90S.
FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOW IN THE LOWER 70S. HIGH IN THE UPPER 80S.