Cape Girardeau is on track to having the coldest July on record if cooler weather prevails for the last few days of the month.
By Alaina Busch
The trend is expected to continue throughout the rest of the summer, said Robin Smith, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.
“We’re not looking for a major heat wave right now,” he said.
Temperatures reached 90 degrees twice during the month compared to 15 days in June, including a 14-day streak at the end of the month. In 2008, temperatures reached 90 degrees 18 times throughout July.
The average temperature for the month so far is 74.5 degrees, about a degree lower than the record low monthly average of 75.8 degrees, which occurred in 2007 and 1967, Smith said.
The lowest July temperature occurred in 1962 at 49 degrees. July 19 claimed the lowest temperature this month at 54 degrees.
Smith said average temperatures should return to normal for the next three months.
After a wet June, the cooler temperatures are a welcome relief for area farmers, said Gerald Bryan, an agronomist for the University of Missouri Extension office in Jackson.
“The cool July has been really a blessing for us as far as most of the crops are concerned,” he said. “It’s made the weeds grow like thunder too.”
The cooler weather means less moisture will evaporate from the soil, he said, and it is more conducive to pollination.
“It has certainly helped us maintain some of the moisture levels that we had,” Bryan said.
He said 5 to 10 percent of area farmers switched to soybeans because the wet weather pushed back corn planting. The overall yield for the corn crop is expected to be lower this year because planting occurred after optimal times, he said.
If the current weather pattern continues, it will help with the late crop, Bryan said.
“We don’t need it hot, and we don’t need hail,” he said.