Photo: Cimexus (Flickr)
Another record could be broken this week as Indiana continues to experience extreme heat and dryness. Monday marked the 16th consecutive day with a high temperature of 90 degrees or above in Central Indiana. The record stretch of 90 degree heat was set at 19 days during the dust bowl in 1936. That year, the record warmth gripped much of the Midwest, causing farmers in many states to lose all their crops for years to come.
The situation isn‘t nearly as dire this year, but July was record breaking in several ways. It was the hottest month since July 1936 and the second hottest month since weather records began in Indianapolis in 1871. The average temperature in Indianapolis in July was 82 degrees, just shy of the July 1936 record of 82.8 degrees. National Weather Service Meteorologist Dave Tucek blames it on a persistent upper level ridge of high pressure.
“It probably ties back into what‘s been taking place over Texas and Oklahoma since early on this year,” said Tucek. “They‘ve had extremely dry conditions down there, which we think helped to create a large dome of high pressure over the center of the country that‘s just continued to warm up as the summertime has worn on.”
Last month was the driest ever in Indianapolis. While some isolated areas around the city got a little more rain during July, just 0.47 inches fell at the airport, a little more than 4 inches below normal. The previous driest July in Indianapolis was in 1914, when 0.49 inches of rain fell. Today is expected to mark the 17th day of temperatures at or above 90 degrees. On Wednesday, a frontal system will dip into the region from the north, jeopardizing the streak.