Thursday began on a pleasant note with much of the area enjoying early morning temperatures in the 60s. The heat developed later in the day under sunny skies with most spots hitting 100° again. There were even a couple of records with a new record high set in Joplin at 104°. West Plains tied the record high of 100°, and so did Springfield at 102°.

Along with the heat, the drought continues to worsen. Severe to extreme drought conditions now blanket most of the Ozarks with no chance for rain tonight.

That changes, at least a little, on Friday. A pocket of unsettled weather and moisture over Oklahoma will drift through the area Friday. This will lead to a mix of sun and clouds, particularly in the afternoon as clouds bubble up. A few spotty showers and thunderstorms will come from this with strong wind gusts possible with any thunderstorm activity.

Temperatures will soar ahead of the isolated thunderstorm activity with afternoon highs in the low 100s.

The hot pattern will remain through the weekend. Rain chances will remain very low, but there may be a small uptick in rain chances by Sunday afternoon closer to Central Missouri. Hot temperatures will also combine with an increase in humidity to produce “feels like” temperatures in the 105° to 109° range.

The pattern will remain hot with a few spotty showers and thunderstorms Monday and Tuesday as a weak cool front drops into the Ozarks and stalls.

A stronger front is slated to arrive Wednesday night into Thursday bringing a more widespread chance for showers and thunderstorms. These won’t be drought-busting rains, but still nice to see. Temperatures will also fall more in line with normal late July temperatures dropping into the 80s and low 90s as we head into the final weekend of the month.