July heat comes in an abnormal fashion this year

We all know that July in Kansas is hot. However, measuring just how hot it has been is somewhat of a challenge. You see, when you look at the temperatures for July, there has been nothing all that unusual about this month. As of July 27th:

  • 100° at Topeka has been reached only once
  • Coolest high temperature reached for the dates of July 7 & 8 (only 71°)
  • Average temperature for the month is only 0.3° above average
  • 7.24″ of rainfall already in July

So, what makes this year unusual? Well, the simple answer is the humidity. It’s a rare day in Northeast Kansas to reach a dew point (the true measurement of how humid it is–the higher the dew point, the muggier it is outside) above 78°. We’ve done that on several days this month and for long stretches at a time. In fact, we set an all-time highest dew point reached in Topeka at 82° on July 13. We’ve since hit 81° for a dew point on two other days.

What that has done has driven the heat index up to 118° or higher on two separate days and several more at or above 105° for a heat index. We’ve had a couple heat warnings and several days of heat advisories. Again, not so much because of extremely high temperatures, but muggier-than-normal weather this summer. So, all that May, June & July rain has sure greened up the entire Central & Southern Plains, but it has also given way to a summer of humidity that seems uncharacteristically high for eastern Kansas.

– Storm Track Chief Meteorologist Matt Miller



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