CENTRAL NEBRASKA — If it felt hot during the first two weeks of June, it wasn’t just the imagination. Central Nebraska recorded its hottest start to June since the 1930s.
According to the National Weather Service Hastings, the first two weeks of June, from June 1-14, averaged out as the third or fourth hottest start to June on record in the last 125 years, depending on which city was measuring.
The average daily temperature in Grand Island was 78.4 degrees. This was beat out only by an average of 80.9 degrees in 1933 and 78.8 in 1934. Temperature records for the community go as far back as 1896.
Hastings also recorded a similar trend. It was the fourth warmest start to June, with an average of 77.4 degrees, which was behind 78.9 from 1933, 78.5 from 1934 and 77.5 from 1911.
The temperatures were around 9 to 8 degrees above normal.
The streak of warm temperatures was likely due to the upper level ridging which was in place across portions of the continental United States during the period.
A ridge is an elongated area of high atmospheric pressured compared to its surrounding environment. The winds associated with this feature are anti-cyclonic. Ridges are often accompanied by warm and dry weather conditions at the surface.
This is caused by the northward transport of warmer air in the lower atmosphere. Ridges often cause fair weather due to the vertical downward motion of air and the divergence of winds at the surface.