We needed a good weather day yesterday and we got it! Our high was right at 79 with mostly sunny conditions and light winds. As discussed yesterday in the blog, we do have a chance for a few showers and storms this morning for the next several hours. At this hour (5am) we do have a small cluster of storms located across northwestern OK moving southeast into central OK. While the threat for widespread severe weather is very low, I can't rule out a strong storm producing some small hail along with some in a few locations. No watches will be required as the severe threat will remain very low.
Daytime highs today will be in the upper70s near 80 with partly cloudy conditions but some locations that do receive a shower or storm could experience some rain cooled air into the lower 70s or even upper 60s for a few hours. A weak surface boundary will slide southward again today allowing for north winds around 10 mph. We will have a chance for a few showers or storms through the midday time period in Tulsa. I'll keep the pop at 20% with higher chances west and southwest.
The rest of the short term forecast will continue to offer a chance for showers and storms Friday and Saturday with Friday highs in the mid to upper 70s with lower or mid-80s Saturday.
The weekend pattern will support a mid-level ridge of high pressure that builds into the southern plains while the polar jet resides northward. But both the GFS and EURO both support a mid-level disturbance that will either slide just along the northern periphery or possibly even under the ridge. This type of ridge commonly referred to as a "dirty ridge" commonly allow these weak disturbances to slide underneath and produce scattered showers or storms. The EURO is very supportive of a decent chance and coverage of showers and storms Saturday, with the Sunday coverage mainly across extreme northeastern OK and western Arkansas. I increased the probability for the Saturday time period yesterday to 40% and will keep it for this package. The severe weather threat this weekend is not high but it's not exactly zero either. The upper level support will be weak, but low level moisture and southerly surface winds may allow for a few storms producing some severe criteria hail or wind gusts.
Monday into early next week, the upper level patter will be from the southwest to the northeast, which is usually a very active pattern for the southern plains. But at this point, we see no major upper level system approaching the plains state through the middle part of next week. This late spring pattern, typical for this time of year, can produce scattered storms with daytime heating and very small disturbances that traverse the upper flow. Daytime highs next week may be in the upper 80s along with gusty south winds and relatively muggy conditions.
It's hard to imagine that we're almost finished with May! Strictly from a climatological view, by the early portion of June, the upper air pattern usually changes to support more of a mid-level ridge position slightly southwest of our immediate area. This creates a northwest flow aloft which is very common for early to mid-June and is responsible for some late night and early morning storm complexes across the southern and central plains states. As the month progresses, the polar jet continues to migrate northward while the ridge begins expanding and moving more northeast. Eventually by late June into early July, the typical semi-permanent feature for the rest of the summer is the mid-level ridge which usually shuts down the big storm systems and brings on the heat. We've been doing very well across part of southeastern and east-central Oklahoma regarding rainfall to date, but some locations across northwestern OK are extremely low in the precip category The Tulsa metro, despite recent rainfall, continues to carry a deficit of almost 3 inches off normal to date for the year. Hopefully as we transition into the early part of June, the northwest flow will bring a few systems into the state.
The official high in Tulsa yesterday was 79 at 5:12pm.
The normal daily average high is 81 and the low is 61.
Daily records include a record high of 94 from 2000 and a low of 41 from 1917.
You'll hear my state-wide and regional weather forecasts on numerous Radio Oklahoma News Network affiliates across the state.
I'll also be discussing the weather with Dan Potter and The KRMG Morning News.
Thanks for reading the Thursday Morning Weather Discussion and Blog.
Have a great Day.