Saturday, May 26, 2012

TOP STORY >> Record heat forecast, but still no rain

Leader staff writer

The heat won’t hit triple digits over the Memorial Day weekend, but new records could be set.

The record high for Sunday and Monday, set back in the early 1960s, is 96 degrees. But forecasters are calling for 97- or 98-degree weather on those days, which could be harmful to the elderly.

The heat, coupled with a month and a half of dry weather, has caused most counties to institute burn bans.

March was excessively wet, but April’s rainfall was only half of normal, and the area has had only about an inch of rain so far this month, compared to the normal average of four inches.

Forecasters don’t see any significant rain chances through Wednesday. If rain doesn’t come in the next two weeks, the state could be back in severe drought conditions.

Already most areas of the state are three to seven inches down on rainfall for the year.

The extended forecast calls for highs in the 90s, lows in the 60s and a slight chance of popup showers here and there, but no significant rainfall.