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Summer Takes Hold

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‘Tis the season to sizzle and there's nothing holding us back from sweating it out now. Summer officially begins just after midnight Friday morning, but a summer-like pattern has already taken hold of the region. The jet stream continues to steer storm systems north of the southern Plains and the infamous heat dome is starting to build.

The pattern is allowing for a redundant forecast over the next week. There's not much to sway our temperatures from the mid-70s for lows to the mid-90s for highs. It's about as homogenous of a forecast as you get, in fact! We're still holding on to enough moisture through the latter half of June to prevent us from soaring into the triple-digits, but it will in turn make it very stuffy outside. Our heat index value could near or top 100° just about any given afternoon. With all that moisture still hanging around, it won't take much to spark an isolated shower or storm, mainly across the hillier terrain of southeastern Oklahoma. Just a bit of rising motion induced from air traveling up the slope of that terrain can trigger a storm.

Beyond those few afternoon showers or storms, our rain chances are next to zero until midweek next week when a developing ridge (which usually shuts off storm formation) weakens briefly and allows for a cold front to sag southward towards our state. Even that remains an uncertainty this far out. This pattern is what we typically see during the middle of brutal summers. Fortunately, it doesn't quite have the likeness of a "death ridge," the term we give to a heat dome over the region that doesn't budge and allow any semblance of relief for weeks at a time in some cases.

While the mugginess of the next week won't be appreciated by many, it points to something positive – the alleviation of drought over much of Green Country. The latest Drought Monitor was released Thursday and shows improvement in the remaining areas dealing with drought over areas northwest of Tulsa. Rainfall since the start of the month has contributed to this relief and allowed most (but not all) reservoirs in our area to be full. It's a different story for the western quarter of the state still suffering from an extreme to exceptional drought. They've seen some rains over the past few days, which will put a dent in their drought. In the long run though, a drier-than-normal run of weather combined with added heat and wind will quickly make that area lose ground. The outlook through Independence Day has our region in below-normal rainfall as shown in the attached map.

It's time to hang out by the pool with an ice-cold beverage and acclimate to the new season. Just don't forget to wear that sunscreen. The sun angle doesn't get any higher than it is at this time of year making it very easy to burn!

We'll be watching closely for any change that could offer us relief from a hot spell we know all too well. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook for all the latest!

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