Normally, a term like the ring of fire would strike fear in those in its path. But this is a situation that could have an upside. With persistent chances of rain, there is hope that drought conditions in Iowa could be eased. One way this could happen is if a “Ring of Fire” scenario would develop this week.
This weather pattern is a common summertime situation. It develops when an area of high pressure (depicted above) takes up shop in the southeastern United States. While producing a hot dome of air, the outmost edge of the circulation (shown in red), produces a potent boundary area where showers and thunderstorms, often strong, can develop. This can create an arc of storms along the Gulf Coast, into the Great Plains and up into the Great Lakes.
The closer to the high pressure you are, the more stable the air is. But out on the edge of the high, the cap is weaker and can be overtaken. There is some disagreement whether this is the setup we face in the days ahead. At this time it appears that if the “ring of fire” forms, it might not include Iowa, meaning more dry weather and potential loss of gains made by recent rains. But even so, setups like this are very common during the summer months. And although they can bring dangerous storms, it might also be exactly what Iowa needs to help pull it out of the drought.