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For the week of August 2 through 8, 2000

Weather outlook: whew(!) and more whew(!)

"There’s no prolonged rain in sight…"The drought will continue."

Meteorologist Thomas Andretta

Express Staff Writer

Meteorologists warn that a change in this summer’s hot and dry weather pattern may not come until the winter storm cycles of November.

According to the National Weather Service in Pocatello, above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall conditions should persist in the Wood River Valley throughout the summer and into the fall.

Though temperatures are expected to moderate slightly over the coming weekend, meteorologist Thomas Andretta said yesterday he doesn’t expect much of a break from the heat in the Wood River Valley.

As for precipitation, Andretta said, "there’s no prolonged rain in sight."

"We’ll see a slight chance of afternoon thunderstorms later this week, but we don’t expect a prolonged period of rain," Andretta said. "The drought will continue."

Andretta said the average daytime humidity in the Wood River Valley is a dry 15-to-20 percent.

"The low humidity makes it all the more hot and dry," Andretta said.

Andretta said the ridge of high pressure that has been sitting over northern Utah and southern Idaho for most of the summer isn’t expected to move anytime soon.

"The persistent high over the west is stronger and further north than usual," Andretta said. "Because it hasn’t moved is the reason for the intense dryness and heat we’ve had this summer."

Andretta said this summer’s stagnant weather pattern is caused when upper level pressure remains stationary and doesn’t move for weeks.

"Consequently, the weather doesn’t change," Andretta said. "We’re not expecting a big enough disturbance to break down the high and move the stagnant air mass."

Andretta said the 30-day outlook for south central Idaho calls for temperatures to be 5 to 10 degrees above average with below normal precipitation, which Andretta said translates into "not much rain" for the month of August.

Andretta said the 90-day forecast calls for pretty much the same with temperatures 3 to 5 degrees above average and precipitation slightly below normal through October.


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