A few months ago, there was some concern that if May did not produce decent rainfall, we would be heading toward a hot, dry summer. However, since the start of summer, a strong heat dome has dominated the weather in the west, leaving an active jet stream and weather pattern across the Ohio and Missouri Valleys (Figure 1). This has brought frequent rounds of showers and storms, some of them locally heavy, and has greatly improved soil moisture and stream flow conditions across the Buckeye State. For some, it has been too much of a good thing. Parts of southwest and northeast Ohio have received 10-15 inches of rainfall over the last 30 days. For the Cincinnati area, this has been the second wettest start to summer (June 1 to present) on record, only behind 1876! Cleveland Hopkins Airport has received 7.18 inches since July 1, the most ever recorded through the first 17 days of July.
The week ahead looks a bit more benign. Mostly dry and sunny conditions are expected Tuesday through Thursday. Skies will remain a bit hazy due to western wildfire smoke. A weak front moving through on Tuesday could provide a few isolated storms late in the day, mainly across northern counties. Temperatures are expected to run about average this week, with highs in the mid to upper-80s and lows in the mid-60s across southern counties. Upper-70s to mid-80s for highs with upper-50s to low-60s expected on Wednesday and Thursday across the north. A better chance of widespread summertime thunderstorms is expected on Friday through the weekend, with highs in the mid to upper-80s.
The Climate Prediction Center’s 6–10-day outlook for the period of July 27 – August 2 and the16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center indicate a shift in the patter, with above average temperatures and below average precipitation expected (Figure 2). Climate averages for this period include a high temperature range of 83-87°F, a low temperature range of 62-66°F, and average rainfall of 0.70-0.90 inches.