Weather across the nation: 8/5/12

6:20 PM, Aug 5, 2012   |    comments
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Active weather continued in the eastern third of the nation on Sunday, while critical fire conditions developed in the West.

In the East, instability ahead of a cold front that reached from the Upper Great Lakes into the Southern Plains kicked up areas of scattered showers, periods of heavy rainfall, and thunderstorms in the eastern third of the nation through the afternoon.

Areas from the Mid-South northeastward to the central Appalachians and western New England remained at slight risk of severe weather development through the afternoon and evening hours with damaging wind gusts and possible severe hail.

Meanwhile, behind this cold front, dry and more seasonable weather with cooler temperatures prevailed across Northern and Central Plains, while hot conditions persisted in parts of the Southern Plains.

Hot daytime temperatures continued in northeastern Texas and south-central Oklahoma as highs climbed to near 100 degrees and heat index values reached up to 110. Finally, to the Southeast, a tropical wave became located over north Florida into the northeast Gulf of Mexico.

Considerable moisture is in place over Florida, allowing rain and thunderstorms to persist through the afternoon. In the West, a trough of low pressure along the California coast combined with monsoonal moisture created chances of dry thunderstorms in parts of central and northern Nevada, southwestern Idaho, south-central and southeastern Oregon, and northeastern California.

Numerous dry lightning strikes and gusty winds associated with these thunderstorms fueled chances of new fires and fire growths in these areas in the afternoon and evening. These critical fire conditions led to Red Flag Warnings throughout the region during the day.

To the south, Flash Flood Watches remained in effect for western New Mexico this afternoon after a back door cold front moved through the region this morning and led to increased moisture and enhanced potential for rain and thunderstorms through the evening.

Finally, to the north, a ridge of high pressure remained over the Pacific Northwest and continued a heat wave in the region with above normal temperatures inland. Low marine clouds along the coast kept temperatures much cooler.

SUNDAY'S WEATHER EXTREMES:

HIGHEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F).........................105 Needles, Calif.

HIGHEST HEAT INDEX (DEGREES F)..........................108 Little Rock AFB, Ark.

LOWEST TEMPERATURE (DEGREES F)..........................30 West Yellowstone, Mont.

LOWEST WIND CHILL (DEGREES F)...........................33 Leadville, Colo.

HIGHEST WIND GUST (MPH).................................59 Cape Lisburne, Alaska

HIGHEST PRECIPITATION (INCHES)..........................2.85 Mayport NS, Fla.

ON THIS DATE....... A couple of warm temperatures (one air and one water) were recorded on this date in history. First, Ice Harbor Dam in Washington did not live up to its name when someone recorded an air temperature in the harbor of 118 degrees to tie a state record in 1928. Also, the SS Frankenfels recorded a water temperature of 96 degrees in the Persian Gulf in 1924.

The Associated Press

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