This past week featured a very summer-like pattern, with average temperatures running 2 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit above average and isolated but locally heavy thunderstorm activity. The largest differences compared to average occurred over northwest Ohio, where a lack of crop cover allowed surfaces to dry quickly and temperatures to rise efficiently. Much of the storm activity was found from parts of northwest Ohio, through east-central Ohio, and into the southeast counties, where widespread 2-3 inches fell with local amounts in excess of 5 inches. A CoCoRaHS (cocorahs.org) observer 0.7 miles north of Williamsport in Pickaway County reported 3 separate events over 2 inches this week for a total of 6.70 inches.
The upcoming week features a drier pattern on average across the state, as high pressure settles in over the region early in the week. This initial high will slide to the east on Wednesday and Thursday providing a better chance of isolated storms. High pressure will build back in for the weekend as well. Currently, the Weather Prediction Center depicts much less than 1 inch of rain for the entire state over the next 7 days (Figure 1), with a few localized heavier totals likely to occur with storms, most likely in the east. Temperatures will remain near to above average. Normal highs this time of year are in the mid to upper 80s with lows in the low to mid 60s.
Looking ahead at the 8-14-day outlooks, the NOAA Climate Prediction Center indicates a greater probability of above-average temperatures for the period July 16-22 (Figure 2). In fact, there is a slight (moderate) chance of excessive heat over the entire state (northern Ohio) during this period as well. This heat may challenge poorly established root systems and rapidly increase stress. This is accompanied by a slightly elevated probability of above-average precipitation (Figure 3). Rainfall for this period averages between 0.85 and 1 inch. The 3-4-week outlooks (not shown) generally indicate equal chances of above, below, or near-normal temperatures for all of Ohio, but there are signals indicating an increased probability of drier than average conditions across the northern third of the state. The latest CPC outlooks may be found at https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/.