Mother Nature's blast of late summer heat made the giant water slide and dunk tank popular places Sunday at the Holy Cross Parish Irish Festival.
Holy Cross teacher Joe Fisher welcomed his turn in the dunk tank as temperatures rose to 92 degrees by 4 p.m., with a heat index of 100. Fisher, 50, who teaches sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade math, was to be followed by Principal Chris Nelson.
“I think the kids are looking forward to this a little more than I am,” Nelson said. “But this is a great way to build relationships with the kids and a great way to stay cool.”
At the water slide, volunteer Russ Nelsen said children had been lined up since the festival opened at noon. Many children scampered back in line as soon as they reached the bottom of the slide.
“The line here has been at least 10 deep the whole time,” Nelsen said. “The kids are really having a good time cooling off.”
The furnacelike blast of hot air could set records Monday, but more seasonal temperatures are just around the corner.
Andy Mussoline, a meteorologist with AccuWeather, The World-Herald's weather consultant, predicted a Monday high of 100 for the Omaha metro area and western Iowa. That would tie a record set in 1955.
“There's a high-pressure system sitting over western Nebraska and Kansas that is going to slip down just south of Omaha and bring the core heat with it,” Mussoline said. “You can expect a bit of a breeze from the southwest, but not a cooling breeze.”
Along with the heat comes chances for showers and even thunderstorms, Mussoline said. The best chances for precipitation will be Tuesday and Wednesday.
The heat is expected to linger through Tuesday, with a high temperature predicted around 90 degrees, Mussoline said. The area will begin to cool off starting Wednesday, with a high of 85 forecast.
“By Saturday, we're expecting more seasonal highs ... somewhere in the mid- to upper 70s that will drop down into the 50s overnight,” he said. “The following week should be much more seasonal as well.”
But Midlanders might not want to put away their sunscreen just yet. Another warm front is expected to swing through Nebraska and Iowa the last week of September.
“It shouldn't approach what we've seen in the past few days, but temperatures could approach the low 80s again,” Mussoline said.