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A Gradual Warmup This Week.

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Been a little tardy in keeping the blog up to date lately; still acclimating to my new work schedule. At any rate, notice the map on the right courtesy of the OK Mesonet. It shows the high/low temperatures for today. Not too shabby for early July. Those morning lows in particular are noteworthy; in fact, both McAlester and Fayetteville set records early this morning.

This all comes on the heels of the first month that was warmer than normal since January of this year. Actually, early June was quite cool, but the last half of the month more than made up for it and we ended the month 1.5 degrees warmer than normal. That breaks a string of 4 straight months with below normal temperatures. Although precipitation was generous in some locations, it was spotty and officially the month of June also came in drier than normal.

It has been more than two weeks now since there has been much in the way of rain and even those locations that were relatively wet are starting to dry out. At least we are getting a reprieve from the heat with the much milder than normal temperatures, but you just know that will not last as we still have all of July and also August ahead of us. Bottom line is we need more showers/storms to keep things green and growing and keep the soils wet. That absorbs much of the heat from the sun and helps keep temperatures at least somewhat in check. It is when we dry out that temperatures really start to soar which of course is what happened over the last two summers.

Unfortunately, there is not much more than some spotty showers/storms in the forecast going through the coming weekend and into the following week. Also, by then our winds will be returning to a southerly direction which means it will be getting warmer and more humid during that time frame. At least, the wind pattern aloft does not support a massive heat wave building over the state such as we experienced last year and the year before. Temperatures will be trending back to near normal which means hot and humid, but at this time we do not see any triple digit heat for at least the next week or two for this side of the state.

However, we are needing more than just some spotty showers/storms as we head into the latter half of July, but right now that is all that is anticipated. So, the next one to two weeks should see a return to more normal July temperatures, but not the extremes we had last year. Also, there will be a possibility of a shower/storm on just about any given day, but the chances appear to be slim at best from what the data is showing at this time.

Meanwhile, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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