Hope For A Heat Wave Relief Period

For the first time in what seems like months, the 8-to-14-day climate outlook is not showing significant confidence for above-normal temperatures in Indiana (Figure 1).  Even the precipitation outlook seems to provide a bit of uncertainty (Figure 2).  What this means is there was not a strong enough agreement among multiple computer climate models that conditions were more likely to be above or below normal.  That does not necessarily mean that hot days are unlikely or precipitation events will be evenly occurring.  It simply means the predictive confidence pointing towards these extremes was lacking.  Therefore, without a strong consensus among the science, it may be safe to assume temperature and precipitation will be “seasonable” for this time of year.  What is “seasonable” for Indiana?  This means variable conditions from day to day with few temperature and precipitation records expected to be broken.

 

Figure 1. Temperature outlook for July 30 – August 4, 2020 where shading indicates the level of confidence for above- or below-normal temperatures.

Figure 1. Temperature outlook for July 30 – August 4, 2020 where shading indicates the level of confidence for above- or below-normal temperatures.

 

Figure 2. Precipitation outlook for July 30 – August 4, 2020 where shading indicates the level of confidence for above- or below-normal precipitation.

Figure 2. Precipitation outlook for July 30 – August 4, 2020 where shading indicates the level of confidence for above- or below-normal precipitation.

 

The climate outlook for August (issued July 16, 2020 by the national Climate Prediction Center) does show confidence for above-normal temperatures with only southern Indiana having confidence for above-normal precipitation (Figure 3).  This leaves some uncertainty for drier conditions to persist that may be exacerbated by higher than normal evapotranspiration rates over the next 4-8 weeks.

Figure 3. Temperature and precipitation monthly outlook for August 2020 where shading indicates the level of confidence for above- or below-normal conditions.

Figure 3. Temperature and precipitation monthly outlook for August 2020 where shading indicates the level of confidence for above- or below-normal conditions.

It is still summer, though, so days continue to be hot and humid, helping to accumulate significant modified growing degree-day units each day.  Figures 4 and 5 show accumulations from April 1 through July 22, 2020 along with how this year compares to the past several years.

 

Figure 4. Modified accumulated growing degree-day units for April 1 – July 22, 2020.

Figure 4. Modified accumulated growing degree-day units for April 1 – July 22, 2020.

 

Figure 5. Comparison of accumulated modified growing degree days for April 1 through July 22 for 2016 through 2020.

Figure 5. Comparison of accumulated modified growing degree days for April 1 through July 22 for 2016 through 2020.

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