The Tulsa State Fair kicks off in just a matter of hours now and fair-goers couldn't be happier with the forecast. In my opinion, fair skies with mild daytime temperatures are ideal conditions for enjoying the fair. I wonder how many times I can say, "fair" in this paragraph!
Through Thursday, however, temperatures will be a bit toasty. 90º readings are possible today and Thursday. There might even be an enhanced wildfire threat tomorrow with gusty northerly winds and dry conditions. Most counties are no longer under a Burn Ban in eastern Oklahoma, but everyone should use caution when dealing with open flames these days.
So, why are we enjoying such a long streak of pleasant weather? A lot of it has to do with a blocked pattern in the upper-levels of the atmosphere. As a fellow meteorologist jokingly called it, a "landphoon" has been spinning in the Upper Midwest for days now. Above, I have a visible satellite image courtesy of NOAA from midday Wednesday, showing that low pressure system. It is cut-off from the main flow of the jet stream, so there is nothing to steer it away. The high pressure to its west has also been stalled thanks to this, which has brought us a weather pattern more typical of, say, Southern California. A "kicker" system will push the cut-off low to the east in the coming days, and will bring a dry cold front through our area. This is what will bring our temperatures back into a more seasonal range.
Now the question is, how long will the dry and mild conditions last? In Oklahoma, we know the weather is apt to change abruptly in the fall season. A major pattern change appears possible late next week. A very deep trough will move into towards the West Coast early next week. How quickly it reaches us is still unknown... but once it does, cool and hopefully rainy weather will be back in the picture.
Tomorrow, I'll have an update on the drought situation. In the meantime, enjoy the warmer conditions and sunny skies!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and "like" me on Facebook. Just search, "Meteorologist Mike Grogan!"
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