Dave Murray’s 2016 Summer Long Range Forecast

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Spring got an early start in march only to be tossed a few setbacks in the middle and end of March into early April with a frost doing some damage to the early blooming flowers and trees. Then spring took solid control. It is always interesting to watch the el Niño fade and the la Nina pattern starting to show its face. It is a “flip” that typically brings a rocky road with the weather and it is a major clue to my ideas this summer. So let’s get going with a look at the month of June in St. Louis.

June 2016

The key here is to put El Niño into a collapse pattern. It is not gone, but the fade is taking place. Large scale changes in ocean temperatures are always a slow process. This fade will allow spring to completely shut down and we get into a solid summer-time pattern. It is not like the blow-torch of 2010, but this will not be an easy walk in the park this summer. There will be plenty of warm to hot weather and we can expect several days of 90 degrees plus heat. I don’t expect any 100 degree plus days. Now, there will be some see-saw of the temperatures but cool air shots from the north will be limited. As a whole night-time temperatures will be comfortable. When we add it all up, I think temperatures will be above average.

On to the rainfall patterns for this June, we are in that no man’s land of the fading el Niño and the flip to la Nina. This makes the moisture forecast rather tough. Typically June is a very wet month, one of the wettest we see in the St. Louis area, but this year that title may be tough to live up to. Of course, there will be several waves of thunderstorms and you can expect some severe weather. I am thinking about five events, but that would be down for a typical June. I am not expecting any tropical development that we have to be concerned with so let’s think the rainfall numbers will be below average for this June. That is a concern for later in the summer.

Things to look for the month of June

  • Watch for birds carrying food to their young
  • Check evergreens for bagworms
  • Cattail blooms are covered with pollen

June 2016 Highlights:

  • Plenty of summer heat…several days of 90+ but no 100 degree heat
  • Plenty of strong to severe storms but the numbers will be down
  • Temperatures end up above average and rainfall ends up below average

July 2016

July is all about the heart of the summer season in St. Louis and in turn this is typically the hottest month of the year. The forecast question in July: is it a constant pounding of heat and humidity from start to finish or do we get a break from the oven from time to time? Temperatures are also important because the trend will drive the July moisture makers: thunderstorms.

July typically is an easy month in the long term forecast,  but that doesn’t look to be the case for 2016. It is going to be a hot month, but not a total beast. With that said, we will see higher energy usage for cooling than we saw last July.  There will be many days with above average temperatures and thinking we will see 2 to 3 days going over 100 degrees. Some of this heat will be a dry heat, not the typical high humidity surges. As we have seen the last few summer’s, a dry heat can really pop our daytime temperatures. But even with that, records are really tough to beat in July. They are really extreme. But this July is not a walk in the park. Find some shade, head to the local pool, and keep the pace slow and easy if you can.

On to rain and thunderstorms and last summer we had a fair share of rain during the summer season. I’m not expecting that to show its face this July. It isn’t a bone dry month, but drought will be a concern. For the first time in a while, the river levels to go down. I think 2 to 3 thunderstorm events that could go severe and this will keep the vegetation somewhat happy. We aren’t getting into a pounding drought. What we see will be classic St. Louis July thunderstorms, fast in and fast out. We’ll see nothing close to all day rains with the focus on mid to late afternoon and late night. Rainfall be a little below average for the month. We are dry and that will have an effect on wildfire danger and put stress on the farms and farm animals

Things to look for in July

  • The birds songs have now subsided…the birds are busy raising their young
  • Long-tailed weasels breed through August
  • Watch for hummingbirds bringing their young to feeders

July 2016 Highlights:

  • The month is looking hot but not a super beast of a month
  • 2 to 3 days of 100 plus but not expecting record heat…cooling bills go up
  • Below average rainfall…2 to 3 storm events but think some drought conditions

August 2016

The month of August is an interesting month. We are still thinking about slowing down and taking it easy, and summer vacation time. But not so fast my friend. The end is near and things really start to ramp up. High school sports start, all the schools are ready to get back to work and before you know it,  we are all saying, “what happened to summer?” Ready or not, it’s time for a look at the month of August

The trend of the developing la Nina pattern will be in play for the last month of summer, but again it is a slow motion change. Ocean water temperaturess and in turn global weather patterns are slow to respond. This is looking like a hot month with above to well above average temperatures. With a building drought in the Great Plains and into the middle of the nation that could add to the summer-time heat. So I am thinking there will be some 100 plus degree heat and a little concern about a record of two coming down. This august will have a bit of a blow torch feel with limited if any cooling shots from the north. The early august start of high school and college sports could be a real beast.

On to the moisture patterns of rain and thunderstorms and with the cooler air shut off from the north and the thinking of a building drought, I am expecting wet weather to be rather limited this August with below average rainfall patterns over the region. Even a shot or two of thunderstorms will not really affect the situation. All day rain is almost impossible to come by in August. With the ideas of dry heat, soil and vegetation will be a solid concern. Water costs for pools and vegetation will be on the rise and I have some concerns about corn and soybean production and rising costs of hay. The only concern that I have for August rainfall will be the tropics. I am thinking August will kick off the season rather quickly, so we will have to keep an eye on the western Gulf of Mexico. If something gets going there, and its moisture lifts our way, then we could toss a wrench into my August rainfall estimates.

Things to look for in the month of august

  • Large flocks of purple martins gathering for fall migration
  • Late summer molt produces drab colors in robins and other birds…they are not sick
  • Wild cherries and wild grapes begin to ripen

August 2016 Highlights:

  • Plenty of summer-time heat in play from start to finish…100 plus and maybe a record or two
  • The air mass set up is all about drought with below average rain and storms
  • The concern for possible tropical moisture from the western Gulf of Mexico…not clear cut right now


The focus during the summer season will be the slow motion process of el Niño “flipping” to la Niña. That change in Pacific Ocean temperatures has a huge effect on global weather patterns and that will affect our temperatures and create a lack of rainfall. The next long range forecast will be for the fall season,  but that is a long way off. Until then lets enjoy and fun and the weather of summer-time in St. Louis.

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