73ºF

Could July 2016 end as the hottest in 16 years?

Hot summer so far shows no signs of relief

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This is the time of year that I absolutely despise wearing a suit to work. Showering is pointless as you begin to sweat through your clothes -- and that's just getting to your car. Now imagine wearing a layer -- or 600 layers -- of makeup. See the tweet from Cosmo:

 

Wow, that's intense. Okay, you get my point. It gets miserable pretty quick -- especially when facing one of the hottest July's we've seen since the turn of the century.

So far this month we are running 1.9 degrees warmer than average for the first 25 days of the month. How does this rank with other July's? To be frank, it's among the hottest.

Going back to 2000, I could only find one other July that was hotter than the one we are currently experiencing. That was in the yesteryear of 2010 when we were 2.1 degrees above normal for the entire month. Keep in mind that we still have 5 days to go for before July 2016 is done for.

With temperatures this week forecast to reach back into the upper 90s, it's not out of the realm of possibility that we may eclipse 2010 as the hottest July in the last 16 years and possibly longer.

The reason for our hot weather is two fold. First, we've been fairly dry with the this month alone running 3.68 inches below normal in the rain bucket. That ranks as the 7th driest July on record for the city of Jacksonville. That deficit is building on the previous month's deficit where we ended the month of June 3.36 inches below normal. If you include May where we ended .19 inches below normal, we're over seven inches in the hole.

The drier than normal weather is providing what we call a positive feedback into the environment. That means as the ground gets drier and drier the afternoons are able to get hotter and hotter essentially feeding on itself.

The other part of the equation is the persistence of high pressure over our area which is keeping the rain away. The "heat dome" as national networks have called it has provided sweltering temperatures from the midwest to the northeast. Occasionally, that high has centered itself right over our area giving us the first 100 degree reading in over 6 years for Jacksonville this month.

Putting it all together, the National Weather Service says that July 2016, going through the 24th of the month, ranks as the third warmest July on record (going back over 100 years) with an average temperature of 95.4 degrees.

If you think there's any relief in the future, I wouldn't bet on it.

August is just five days away and that's when summer usually digs its heels in for it's final stand against the first Autumn fronts of September.

The average highs for August remain in the low 90s but will begin inching down by the end of the month. Looking at the record highs, there are still a fair number of 100s although not as many as July. Just hang on a few more weeks and the teeth of summer will relinquish their grip!