WILMINGTON — The reports on current heat wave are a mix of contrasts, with news outlets reporting that parts of Montana received up to four feet of snow over the weekend, heavy rains and flash flooding extend in a band from New Mexico to Michigan.
Closer to home, Southwest Ohio braces for another day of record heat and drought conditions in a record-breaking early October heat wave.
Both Wednesday and Thursday’s record high temperatures, which forecasters at the National Weather Service in Wilmington said would most likely be broken, were set one hundred years ago, with Wednesday topping out at 90 degrees in 1919 and Thursday peaking at 89 that same year.
Friday’s high is forecast to break the record that was set just 12 years ago when the mercury reached 88 degrees.
Meteorologist Scott Hickman told The Times-Gazette the heating trend is due to a strong area of high pressure that has settled across the Ohio Valley.
“This high pressure system is very dry as well, and to complicate things, most of the area of the Ohio Valley has been dry in the last month,” he said. “The combination of those two being very dry, and a very strong high pressure system have been leading to these unseasonable record-breaking temperatures.”
He described the current weather pattern as unusual for this time of the year, attributing it to the fact that when a strong high pressure system is present in the eastern part of the nation, there is usually a corresponding trough of low pressure in the west, which he said gave life to the storm that brought heavy weekend snowfall to the Montana Rockies.
“We have what’s called a ‘very highly amplified upper-level flow pattern,” he said. “That’s why when they had the snow in Montana on the high plains east of the Rockies, high temperatures struggled to get above freezing Tuesday while we were roasting in the 90s.”
Relief is on the horizon Thursday night, he said, in terms of more seasonable temperatures when a cold front moves in, but unfortunately not for rainfall, although the front will cause an over 20-degree drop in temperatures from Thursday to Friday afternoon, and a 47-degree difference between Thursday afternoon and Saturday mornings’ expected low of 45.
He said the next best chance for rain looks to move in Sunday night/Monday morning, with forecasting models able to give a more accurate prediction of potential rainfall as the weekend gets closer.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571