Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dreaming of January

It isn't just our air conditioners that are getting workouts from this summer's soaring temperatures. Pavement throughout the city is experiencing stress from the brutal conditions. Much like extreme cold can damage pavement, so too can extreme heat. Earlier this week, a portion of 7th Avenue South buckled and is in the process of being repaired.

A portion of the driveway directly in front of Lowe's has also buckled under the extreme heat. I noticed this on Wednesday night when I was shopping in the area. Crews were breaking up concrete near the store's eastern entrance and piling it up in large piles in the parking lot. This must be very disruptive because the concrete in question is right near the customer loading area. Maybe that's why Menard's seemed busier than usual...

And to think that in a few short months the temperatures could literally be 100+ degrees cooler. My yard is actually cracking up in places. I've heard plenty about the terrible heat the area experienced in the summer of 1936 (121 degrees in Steele, North Dakota). Let's hope things cool down soon. My air conditioner and the streets of Grand Forks can't take it much longer...

8 comments:

drunk said...

Wow, yeah, it's been pretty warm out there. It's been "hot as usual" out here - but y'all are getting a little bit of rain. We just have a hot layer of smog hovering over us. The big grass fires haven't helped much either. :-(

At least it's not like St. Louis right now! :D

JGS said...

Actually Grand Forks hasn't really seen any rain since the middle of June. It's getting really dry out here now and grass is starting to turn yellow.

A big patch of rain was heading our way but it turned SE and it's going to miss us. I wouldn't be surprised to see the city start issueing restrictions on water usage.

It's getting really despressing not seeing a drop of rain this long now.

Matthew K. Hartman said...

We have seen very brief 'bouts of rain-showers here in Grand Forks, but nothing that has helped the drought conditions we've been experiencing over the past 2 months. NOAA, along with the Nat'l Climatic Data Center (NCDC), generates charts for Drought Impact across the country... and today's issuance is showing the Grand Forks area under Moderate (D1) to Severe (D2) drought conditions (http://drought.unl.edu/dm/monitor.html). The next decent chance for precip here in the valley could come late Saturday afternoon or evening. As far as temperatures go, it looks like we should be near average with warmer temps Sunday through about Wednesday, when we should cool once again to near average - with another very warm last weekend of July (if you want to believe the forecast models).

drunk said...

Hey, that drought information is really interesting. Great link! :D

Here's a cool one back for ya: http://www.esri.com/disaster_response/sbfires071506.html

Darn wildfires in California. Pretty soon they're going to join together and form Voltron.

WeatherGal said...

I just saw the radar loop on WDAZ. Missed out yet again in the notheast!

GrandForksGuy said...

Thanks for the forecast, Matthew! My yard is brown and crispy. Oh well, at least the temps have been a bit cooler the last couple of days.

I'm just starting to get a little bit worried that we're turning towards a re-run of the Dirty 30s. I've heard plenty about those brutal years.

Matthew K. Hartman said...

Yeah, in July of '36 temperatures were well above 100'F for several days in a row. The NWS observation site (on University, west of I-29) measured 4 days in a row with temperatures at 106'F or higher - all record highs for each respective date (July 10-13th) with the 7th and 8th also setting record highs, reaching 105'F on each day. While temperatures this year obviously didn't reach that plateau, our precipitation anomaly is somewhat comparable (in the short-term, anyway). Another item of interest may be the "Drought and Water Resources Outlook" issued from the Grand Forks NWS. A link to it can be found on their home-page here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/fgf/. Also, "drunk," funny you mention the fires that have been visible with the satellite imagery. We've been watching and monitoring all types of fires across Montana and northeastern Minnesota with the satellite images here at work. What's incredible is that the actual fires (the larger ones) are showing up on the infrared images!

Matthew K. Hartman said...

If any folks are still watching this thread at all, I've added some commentary to the continued hot and dry conditions over on my WeatherBlog (http://fcst.blogspot.com).