High temps mean potential for high water levels
Date posted: May 14, 2013
SHERIDAN — Sheridan’s pathways and parks were filled with bikers, runners and sun worshipers donning T-shirts and shorts Monday as temperatures climbed to a near-record high of 91 degrees.
The daily record of 93 degrees was set in 2001, according to figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Meteorologist Todd Chambers said a pressure build-up from the southwest was responsible for drawing a ridge of warm, dry air over the Sheridan area yesterday.
A combination of dry soil and air exacerbated the heat, pulling the temperature caused by the front even higher.
“Without the moisture in the air, it allowed the temperatures to warm up very quickly,” Chambers said.
A cold front moved toward Sheridan overnight, however, meaning residents can expect temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees lower today.
Chambers said those cooler temperatures are expected to linger throughout the rest of the week with an increased chance for showers and thunderstorms.
As for wildfire prevention, that’s likely good news.
Sheridan has received only about 15/100 of an inch of precipitation so far in May, as opposed to the one full inch the area normally sees.
So far this year, the Sheridan area has received about one-quarter inch less precipitation than normal.
Still, Chambers said conditions remain far wetter than the same time last year.
While that bodes well for wildfire suppression during the early weeks of summer, the second half of the season remains questionable.
“Right now there’s no indication climate-wise if we’re going to be above normal, below normal or at normal (wildfire levels),” Chambers said.
He added that an increase in precipitation throughout the rest of May and into June would aid in suppressing potential fires later in the season.And while recent high temperatures have made for easy access to recreation so far this month, Chambers warned that the rapid melting of mountain snowpack is set to cause high water levels in area streams.
“Anybody recreating out there near waters and streams needs to be careful,” he said.
He added that, as of press time however, there was no indication of possible flooding.