A record week

Record-setting temperatures to start a heat wave.
Posted at 9:44 PM, Sep 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-15 21:44:09-04

What a week! Our current heat wave has already produced very hot, even record-setting days. We broke or tied three records last week.

  • 100° on Tuesday - broke the long-standing record from 1900 of 97°.
  • Tied the record high for September 11th with 1983.
  • Also tied the record warm-low temperature on Wednesday (74° in 1925).

Tuesday was the hottest day of the year with a high of 100°. This was the first time that Lexington has hit the triple digits since July 8, 2012. The last time Lexington topped 100° in September was back in 1954. Thursday and Friday's high temperatures came within one degree of the record for the respective date. It was also the first time in 65 years that there have been four consecutive days of 95° or hotter temperatures in the month of September.

There have now been 47 days in 2019 with highs of 90° or higher. We are in 12th place all-time. 1936 holds the record with 85 days. This year's total is about to grow again.

This September heat wave will go into a second week. We'll replace the intense heat for temperatures that would be hot for July. High temperatures will hover at 90° through the end of the next week. We'll continue to bake as a ridge centered over the mid-Mississippi Valley grows. Not only will this set-up keep us hot, but also dry.

While temperatures keep sizzling, the ground will continue to crack. It has been 19 days, and counting, since the last rainfall in Lexington. The ridge that will keep us hot will also limit any development of organized and widespread rain chances. September is typically our driest month, but we have been too dry. The heat and dry conditions will worsen the blossoming drought.

Long-range models indicate that temperatures will remain above-normal over the next two weeks, but there will be brief periods of cooler temperatures. There have been signs over the past few days that the stagnant pattern may break down in time for the start of fall. This will allow systems to drop south out of Canada, and bring some much needed rain and a break from the heat. The first cold front in the series could arrive as early as next Monday.