Once again the main focus of the forecast will be the relentless heat wave and the potential for triple digit weather through the weekend. Excessive heat warnings will be required through at least Sunday evening, and possibly will be extended into next week. But the early part of next week continues to hinge on the exact location and strength of the mid level ridge. About a week ago the ensembles were suggesting the ridge would slide west allowing a northwest flow to reach at least northeastern OK Monday or Tuesday. The operational EURO kept the ridge directly over the state during these runs that occurred last week. But the incoming data this morning combined with the last runs yesterday offer some credence to the possibility.
The 18NAM and 00NAM and the 12EURO are offering a surprising solution for Monday: both models are hinting at a wind shift or possibly the real deal front making a brief intrusion into extreme northern OK. The NAM brings a wind shift into the state Sunday with the real front arriving Monday morning. I don't quite know what to think of these solutions, but I can't totally dismiss the possibility with the NAM having support with the EURO. The EURO is also hinting at some QPF in extreme SE OK or Western Arkansas this weekend, which is a confirmation of earlier runs and earlier thoughts for the weekend.
Normally the forecast for an event such as a weak boundary 4 to 5 days out wouldn't draw too much attention in the middle of summer, unless one is in the middle of a serious drought and heat wave. Any hint or hope of some change will be welcomed. But, there is no reason to bet the house and we'll continue with the current forecast at this point.
I'll not make any wind direction changes to the forecast but will add a slight mention of a few isolated storms. This means a slight chance of isolated storms will be possible this weekend across extreme eastern OK and western Arkansas with triple digit weather likely through the forecast period. And I'll mention a slight chance of isolated storms Monday for northern OK, including the Tulsa metro.
Overnight lows will also be on the warm side with morning lows in the upper 70s in the rural areas and the lower 80s in the metro.
After Monday, the ridge will continue to be the dominate player for the rest of the week with heat issues grabbing the weather headlines.
The Eastern Pacific season has already produced four named storms, including a current CAT 2 hurricane. Dora is located off the coast of Mexico and will move northwest towards and west of the Baja by this weekend where the system will weaken dramatically after encountering a colder oceanic current and also an atmosphere less conducive for tropical storms.
The Atlantic has produced 3 tropical strength storms, the last two named Bret and Cindy. Both of these storms had very little impact on the anything other than maritime shipping interests.
There will be several tropical waves in the Caribbean during the next week, and tropical storm formation is a slight possibility. A system may attempt to develop in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico by late next week. Again, we're not holding our breath at this point.
Becoming better stewards of water.
I don't water too much at our house. We have a small and modest flower bed in the front yard, and our landscaping consist of some really ugly grass along with some burnt spots. I don't use a professional lawn care company to do any work on our yard, and consequently our lawn is probably the worst one on the street. Needless to say, I really don't water the grass anyway, but I do try to keep the flowers and shrubs from wilting in the big sun and the big heat. I only water every other day and usually for a much less time that some would suggest.
So when I started thinking about trying to conserve water, I didn't really think I could conserve anymore other than not watering the flowerbeds at all. But yesterday morning I noticed how much water I wasted by letting the faucet run during everyday tasks, such as brushing old yeller ( my teeth) and taking the morning shower. I imagine over a life time I've wasted thousands of gallons of water by taking longer than necessary showers and letting the water run for the whole teeth brushing event. I equate it to something like dimes and nickels. Not really too big of a deal, until you realize that dimes and nickels over many years add up to lots of dollars. And so does a small amount of wasted water. Over the years, it really adds up.
Water is a precious resource that is taken for granted. Wars have been fought over water rights. We expect it to always be ready to roll out of the pipe on demand and when its gone for even a small time, like a water line break, it drives us nuts. I remember the summer of 1980 and the water issues across the southeastern part of the state. A church camp I attended encouraged us to take a shower no longer than one minute in duration. I thought it was a crazy idea, but as an adult I totally understand.
So what's the take away from the ramblings of your friendly morning forecaster? Let's try to be good stewards of our water not only in times of weather stress and drought, but also everyday. Water is a precious resource and a highly valued commodity.