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August 31, 2013

HARNED: Heat continues, relief in sight

— The hottest weather of the summer season continues into the extended holiday weekend, but relief is in sight! While portions of central Indiana have slipped into a slight drought, classified as abnormally dry, Southern Indiana remains drought free — for now! However, that could easily change with little recent rainfall and only small chances in the forecast. In addition, September and October are the area’s driest months.  

I’m sure lots of folks are making outdoor plans for the weekend. Perhaps a final visit to an area pool or a trip to Patoka Lake is on your agenda. Scattered storms will be possible each day through the holiday weekend. Besides providing a little relief to those who see the needed rain it will also put an end to our stretch of 90 degree days. Regardless, much of the holiday weekend will be spent dry — take the sun block and stay cool. As the cold front approaches on Monday some of the storms could produce small hail and gusty winds. The threat of severe weather looks low, but if you’re going to be outdoors you’ll want to keep an eye to the sky.

 Did you know that every thunderstorm has lightning? It’s estimated that at any given time there are 600 bolts of lightning hitting the earth’s surface. Lightning is five times hotter than the surface of the sun (50,000 degrees Fahrenheit). It is the rapid heating of the air that produces the shock wave that we call thunder. Lightning is especially dangerous for those on the water, playing sports or camping. In fact, lightning kills more people on average each year than tornadoes. The point is this… even when storm chances are low you still need to pay attention and if the skies darken or you hear thunder take a break and go inside.

FORECAST

SATURDAY

Partly Sunny

20 percent storm chance

HIGH: 95 degrees

SUNDAY

Partly Sunny

20 percent storm chance

HIGH: 95 degrees

MONDAY (Labor Day)

Mostly Cloudy

40 percent storm chance

HIGH: 93°

— Kevin Harned is the chief meteorologist for WAVE 3 News. This column was produced as a partnership between the News and Tribune and WAVE 3 News.

 

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