Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fading heat

There's been an upper air pressure ridge embedded overhead for the last week or so, and as of this morning the weather guessers believe it will stay in place for perhaps another week.
Nona the Wonder Dog. Not a big fan of fixing fence.

Although she does enjoy a dip in the stock tank.
In a lot of ways the predicted future movement or non-movement of the pressure ridge is pure speculation. Forecasters go by history and trend models. They have a huge amount of very precise historical data to work with, data that stretch back from this very moment to 100 years or more ago. History shows that the general outline of seasonal weather seldom strays far from the statistically established norm.
What neglected cross fencing looks like.

But the details are very hard to suitcase. The Earth is a dynamic and complex place, and factors affecting weather are manifold. We generally understand how it all works, but puzzles remain to be solved, and the interactions of uncountable trillions of air and water molecules are impossible to quantify and predict. We can come close, sometimes, but that's about it.
The incredible melting fence post.

Nature is a great woodworker.

Anyway, back to the pressure ridge. While it's in place the big continental weather systems are moving around us, and our weather is seemingly unchanging. The sun beats down from clear skies. Air temperatures climb. Little wind is present to move the warm air around. In the afternoon water vapor flows upward from transpiring ground cover and condenses out into heat-holding cloud cover, so that the air remains warm long after the sun has retired from the field for the day. The clouds break up and depart late in the evening, heat radiates upward, and by morning the mercury has tumbled into the mid-50's.
Is that smoke?

And the cycle begins again.

This is the last hurrah of summer's heat.

August 2017 was rather an interesting month so far as weather is concerned. Across the Nebraska Panhandle and much of the tri-state region the first half of the month was more cool and wet than average, while the second half of the month was just the opposite -- warmer and drier.
Not smoke.

From August 1-15 rainfall south of Kimball totaled 1.84 inches, which is 0.04 inches more than the long term average for the entire month. Peak daytime air temperatures averaged 79.4 degrees, about six degrees below average. Daily low air temperatures came in at 54 degrees, again six degrees cooler than average. Unsurprisingly, the daily mean air temperature of 64.73 degrees was about six degrees lower than average.
Funnel web spider.

From August 15 - 29 (as this is written August 30-31 are forecast to be much the same) precipitation south of Kimball totaled only 0.07 inches, or about 0.85 inches less than the long term average. Daily high temperatures climbed to 85.76 degrees, overnight lows climbed to 54.3 degrees, and the daily mean rose to 70.45 degrees. With the exception of rainfall totals, weather conditions over the second half of August were very close to the long-term norm.
The non-Australian, non-deadly funnel web spider.

Overall for the month, the cool and wet first half will make August, 2017 slightly wetter and slightly cooler than average.

Very little of the actual weather conditions of the month were predicted by the weather guessers. As always, there's a significant difference between real reality and the artificial reality we manufacture.


  1. Nothing is forever, especially fence posts?

    1. Eventually the cellolose in that post will be reborn in new trees, which will someday, perhaps, be worked into new fence posts, used to contain the livestock of the lizzard people a few hundred thousand years hence... 👿

  2. Thanks for the weather report. And the photos. Please give Nona the Wonder Dog a pat from me.

    Paul L. Quandt

  3. Wind driven sand caused the fencepost's interesting shape?

    1. Lots of years of erosion. That post was likely placed back in 1880 or so. I should probably preserve it.