So far so good. As I write this, the extreme instability I mentioned in the morning discussion has been kept in check by a warm, stable layer of air aloft. That is often the big question when dealing with the potential for severe storms. When and where will the capping inversion aloft break or will it hold through the maximum heating time? Since we typically receive upper level observations from balloon soundings twice a day, the vertical profile of temperature, moisture, and winds is at a much coarser scale than the corresponding horizontal measurements that get from our surface observational network. We are blessed here in Oklahoma to have the OK Mesonet which provides a very dense network of surface observations and on a time scale of minutes as opposed to the upper level observations which only occur twice a day. We do have other sources of upper level information throughout the day and night such as satellite and radar, but those are remote sensors which also have their limitations. Bottom line is, we do not currently have the data quality and data density aloft to be absolutely sure just how strong the cap is and that is often the critical factor in when, where, and if storms will develop.
Now that we are past the time of maximum heating for today, the likelihood of storms capable of producing really large hail is decreasing and the focus is shifting to the passage of the surface cool front during the morning hours of Monday. The lifting provided by the front together with the moisture available and some instability could produce a few locally heavy storms, but the severe threat will be minimal at that time. More importantly, the passage of the cool front will bring some relief from the summer like temperatures and humidity of the last few days.
In fact, dare I say that we will actually see temperatures at or below normal for the first time this month? Keep in mind the normal temperature range for this time of year is around 77/56 for the high/low respectively and we should be at or below those numbers for much of the coming week. Not only that, but it appears that the pattern aloft will have changed enough to allow another cool front to arrive along about this coming Saturday and that should maintain temperatures close to normal not only through the coming weekend, but into the following week as well.
After tonight and Monday, any chance of showers or storms will be largely confined to the more southern counties and only a slight chance at that. We could see a chance over the weekend with the next front in the area, but it does not look like it will have all that much moisture to work with. So, this all adds up to what should be a pretty nice run of weather for much of the coming week, through the coming weekend, and quite possibly well into the following week.
As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.
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