Finger on the Weather

August debuts with a touch of autumn

Forecasts indicate the first half of August is shaping up to be cool and wet across Kansas.
Forecasts indicate the first half of August is shaping up to be cool and wet across Kansas.

The calendar can’t possibly say August already. Didn’t summer start about a week and a half ago?

The weather’s not helping, either. August is frequently a blast furnace in the Sunflower State, with 100s common deep into the month.

But the high on Monday was 75 in Wichita, a whopping 17 degrees below the average high for the last day of July. Hutchinson was 20 degrees below normal, according to the National Weather Service.

Salina, Russell and Great Bend were all 18 degrees below normal on Monday, and forecasts indicate the trend will continue well into August.

“I’m not complaining,” weather service meteorologist Eric Metzger said. “I am hoping this is a prelude a long and wonderful autumn.”

The culprit is a weather pattern more typical for late September and early October, Metzger said. A high pressure ridge is keeping the heat on the West Coast and allowing cooler air from Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas to dip down into Kansas.

Later in the week, regular chances for showers and thunderstorms will arrive for the Sunflower State. That will help keep temperatures well below normal.

“I’m all for it,” Metzger said. “I want to stop watering my grass.”

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

Great bend 18 below

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