This past weekend's record low temperatures and the outlook for the rest of summer

Air conditioners got a much-needed break this past weekend as a blast of cool Canadian air settled over our region. Several high and low temperature records were tied or broken.

The following daily records were set...

  • Evansville: Friday the 17th...high of 77 degrees broke the old record coolest high of 79 degrees, set in 1911.
  • Paducah: Saturday the 18th...low of 58 degrees tied the old record low set in 1967. 
  • Paducah: Saturday the 18th...high of 75 degrees broke the old record coolest high of 77 degrees set in 2003.
  • Evansville: Saturday the 18th...high of 72 degrees broke the old record coolest high of 78 degrees set in 1938.
  • Paducah: Sunday the 19th...low of 59 degrees tied the old record set in 2004.

When will heat return? There are signs that the rest of the summer will average cooler than normal. While brief periods of hot weather can be expected, the northwest flow pattern aloft favors frequent cold frontal passages.

The forecast map from the Climate Prediction Center (below) indicates that below normal temperatures may remain prevalent in the Ohio Valley through the rest of the summer. Below is the 30-day temperature outlook for the month of August:

August, 2009 temp forecast

The weekend's unseasonably cool air was courtesy of a seemingly permanent upper low (or trough) that has been stalled over the Great Lakes region or Northeast since late spring. For most of June and early July, the Lower Ohio Valley was in a region of fluctuating temperatures between a hot upper-level high (or ridge) over the West and the cold upper-level low over the Northeast. The upper-level low shifted west into the Mississippi Valley in mid-July, and it appears this cooler pattern for the Midwest may continue through August.

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