Gary Lezak's summer forecast

Summer begins June 21, which is now just four weeks away. We get to enjoy all four seasons in Kansas City, and this year we had snowy end to winter, a cool spring with some ups and downs and just enough rain, and now we are moving into the next season. 

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The jet stream retreats north every year as the sun reaches higher in the sky.  As the jet stream retreats severe weather season comes to an end. Well, at least tornado season ends by around the third week of June every year. We can still experience an occasional severe thunderstorm in the area during active summers.  But, without the jet stream and upper level atmospheric energy, there usually isn't enough flow to produce tornadoes this far south. 

Some summers are wet. Do you remember the "Flood of '93"?  That summer there were many spots around Kansas City that had way too much rain including over 20 inches of rain in July in Prairie Village, Kan.  Many summers are much drier, and last year we had an extremely dry summer as the drought worsened. 

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We are forecasting an average summer for both temperatures and precipitation. It may surprise you that Kansas City averages 5.23" in June, 4.45" of rain in July and 3.89" in August. That is a summer average total of: 13.57"! Last year we only had 4.98" of rain, or 37 percent of average. Again, we are forecasting near average or nearly 8 and a half inches of rain MORE than last summer.  And, we can expect two or three weaker heat waves this summer with temperatures being near average most of the summer.

During the summer we need around 2" of rain per week on our lawns to keep everything lush and green.  That would be way above average rainfall, so we expect to start watering a bit soon. We had a break this spring with regular rains. Let's see how all of this unfolds this summer.

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