Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – As we head into Independence Day weekend temperatures will continue to warm, bringing Central Illinois it’s warmest stretch weather in 2020. High temperatures are expected to top out in the low to mid 90s through next week as high pressure brings mostly sunny skies and minimal storm chances to Central Illinois. Thankfully the heat index is not expected to be an issue through the holiday weekend as it remains in the low to mid 90s. However, that could change next week as dew points return to the 70s which will send heat index values in to the upper 90s and lower triple digits.
It’s important to remind ourselves, as we head into the warmest time of year, not to leave our children and/or pets in a locked vehicle. According to injuryfacts.nsc.org, an average of 39 children die each year and six children have already died in 2020 as a result of heatstroke after being left in a hot vehicle. When the outside air temperature is 95° the internal temperature of a vehicle reaches 114° in just 10 minutes and 124° in 20 minutes.
The stretch of hot and dry weather is likely to worsen the current drought conditions that have developed in Central Illinois over the past few weeks. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor released on July 2nd many areas east of the Illinois River are now considered to be abnormally dry. This is not a surprise to many folks in McLean, Woodford and Tazewell Counties where they have seen 25 to 50% of their “normal” rainfall over the last 30 days leaving many areas with 30 day rainfall deficits of 2.50 to 3.00″. Despite the fact that scattered storms impacted parts of the region over the last few weeks, the steadier and heavier rains remained across western Illinois.
The extended forecast offers very little relief from the recent dry spell. With high pressure in full control of our weather there will be little opportunity for showers and storms over the next week. Aside from a random pop-up shower, the best chance of showers and storms will be on Tuesday as a weak disturbance passes north of the region. However the chance of rain is only around 20% as much of the rain is likely to remain north of the region. The reality of these limited rain chances is reflected in the 7-Day Rainfall Forecast where projected rainfall amounts are less than a tenth of inch across the region.
Unfortunately it looks like the heat and dry weather could be here to stay. The Climate Prediction Center’s 6-10 day outlook (July 9th – July 13th) shows that the hot and dry weather is likely to persist well into the following week.