Unseasonably warm weather pushed Lawrence's high temperature to a record level Sunday.
Sunday's record-breaking high was 76 degrees, two degrees above the former record of 74 degrees, set in 1944 and tied in 1971, according to records kept by the Kansas University Weather Service, the official reporting station for Lawrence.
Saturday's high temperature of 77 degrees was only one degree shy of the record for that date, set in 1949. The overnight low of 60 degrees on Sunday also was just one degree shy of the highest overnight low for the date. The record of 61 was recorded in 1902.
Mark Bogner, forecaster for the KU weather service, said this morning that recent warm temperatures were the result of the jet stream staying farther north than normal for this time of year.
DURING THE summer months, the jet stream usually remains in the northern tier of states, which allows warm air from the south to spread over much of the country, he said.
During the winter months, the jet stream typically is located more to the south, keeping warm temperatures at bay and covering the area with cooler northern air, he said.
Bogner described the jet stream as fast-flowing air that dictates how weather systems move across the country. The warm, southern air and the cool, northern air are unable to penetrate the jet stream, he said.
Although the area has experienced unusually warm temperatures recently, Bogner wasn't predicting another record-breaker for today.
Bogner said that while picnickers and other outdoor types might be enjoying the summerlike weather, the dry, hot conditions are not exactly what the rain-starved area needs.
"AS CLOSE as we are to coming out of a drought, it's not good to be setting record high temperatures," he said. "The area could use some moisture."
There is a slight chance of rain in Tuesday's forecast with a high of about 59. The Lawrence area has received 28.58 inches of rain so far this year, which is 4.69 inches short of normal rainfall for the year to date of 33.27 inches. A severe drought left the area 13 inches short of normal rainfall last year.