September has been a sizzler so far with temperatures running nearly 8° above normal. To date, it’s the warmest first two weeks of September since 1980 and ranks 5th to date for warmest September on record. This is also the most persistent period of heat that we’ve experienced all summer. The heat has also come with drought with hardly any rain falling since the end of August.
Heat and drought tend to go hand in hand with the dry pattern helping give afternoon heat a boost. Temperatures today once again soared into the low to mid-90s, warm enough in Springfield to tie the record high of 95°. But unlike yesterday, a few isolated showers have managed to pop up. These will quickly fade by sunset with clear and quiet weather overnight.
A trough in the West is helping to pump up the summer ridge over the area, and this will persist through Thursday. Temperatures will remain hot with lows in the upper 60s and highs in the low to mid-90s. Rain will remain scarce, but an isolated shower or two may try to pop up each afternoon. On Tuesday the higher chances for this will likely be near a front that will be draped near Versailles southeast through Rolla.
Rain and cloud cover will be more widespread Friday as a pocket of storminess moves north around the west side of the ridge. The rain still looks widely scattered at best, but afternoon temperatures will be nicer with highs in the mid to upper 80s.
A storm moving out of the West will help knock down the summer ridge by Saturday. As the ridge shifts out and moisture levels move higher, showers and thunderstorms will become more likely. The increased rain chances and cloud cover will keep temperatures a lot closer to normal with highs in the low to mid-80s Saturday.
A front will edge into the area by Sunday, likely stalling before it can completely clear the Ozarks. This will keep clouds and the threat of rain going at times through Sunday into Monday. Temperatures are tricky to pin down in this setup, but the pattern certainly looks milder with highs in the 70s to low 80s Sunday and Monday.
There’s still no major cool air outbreak in sight, but temperatures should run a lot closer to normal through the end of the month.