A warm, soft July day here Monday; June record heat confirmed in Death Valley Sunday

After soggy weather around these parts in April, May and June, Monday has been a treat as July began with warm temperatures rising mainly into the mid 70s to mid 80s (cooler downwind of Lake Superior, of course) and low dewpoints from the 40s to low 50s.  There have been just a few isolated small showers riding the flow southwestward this afternoon but nearly all of us have remained dry.

Cumulus and some towering cumulus built over Minnesota this afternoon. Source:NOAA.

Out west the heat has really been on again today and will continue tomorrow.  High temperatures both days will climb above 100 not only in the desert southwest but all the way north into Idaho and eastern Washington.

The official temperature in Death Valley is not from a continuously reporting weather station such as you would find at an airport, but rather indicates daily maximum and minimum temperatures over a 24-hour period on a special maximum-minimum thermometer.  This morning the National Weather Service confirmed that on Sunday, June 30, Death Valley reached a high temperature of 129 degrees to set an all-time record for the month of June not only for Death Valley but for the entire USA.

Record high temperature of 129 Sunday in Death Valley indicated on a max-min thermometer. Source:NWS/Death Valley National Park.

With all that heat brings the risk of the wildfires that have been raging.  Because many wildfires are caused by lightning, especially from thunderstorms that produce little or no rain that reaches the surface before evaporating in the hot, dry air, the National Weather Service issues a useful fire weather product that forecasts the location of these “dry thunderstorms” on a daily basis.

Forecast areas of dry thunderstorms on July 1. Source:NWS

Lightning data displays show us where those storms have been forming as the afternoon has progressed.

Lightning has been increasing across scattered areas of the dry west. Source:Vaisala.

Hereabouts, this evening will be pleasant.  The cumulus clouds and any isolated showers will collapse.

Northern lights have been reported on some recent nights, so look to the north after dark if you are out and about, especially in northern Minnesota where the haze seems to be clearing.

Tomorrow will be much like today, although probably less hazy.

It still looks like a good chance of some showers and thunderstorms over the weekend, mainly Saturday night and Sunday.

GFS model forecast 6-hour rainfall ending at 7 a.m. Sunday




Smoke from forest fires in northern Ontario and Manitoba continue to create a haze in the boundary layer but reductions to visibility at the surface have been minimal.