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Heat Wave Crests with Some Relief to Follow

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Rising temperatures this time of year create rising concerns for many of us, especially after the last two brutal summers.  Today and tomorrow (Wednesday), we'll flirt with triple-digit temperatures.  Add in the moisture, and we've got another recipe for dangerous heat.

                That same high pressure that brought the record-breaking heat to the Desert Southwest last week has shifted east and is allowing that July sun to bake our region.  The upward trend in the temperatures ends Wednesday as a ripple in the jet stream far to our north sends a cold (or not-so-hot) front down our way.  In front of the frontal boundary, moisture will pool and winds will veer (turn westerly at the surface), which will enhance our heat.  That is why the National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for Tulsa County through Wednesday evening (shown in the first map).  There could be a few places that reach 105°!

                Fortunately, with the approach of that front comes the trigger for storms.  Most of our computer models show enough forcing and (clearly) plenty of heating and moisture to support scattered storm development likely along the Oklahoma/Kansas line.  These storms will likely be slow movers but create outflow boundaries that send out a rush of cool air from the storm and allow for the progression of the rain to the south.  Not everyone may see the rain, but it's our best bet for relief.  The second map shows the very limited risk for severe storms in the region.

                That boundary will remain in the area through Friday morning, which could allow for a few more showers and storms to fire up.  Eventually that front will wash out and we'll be back to the same ole same ole.  The heat won't be quite as intense and with southeasterly winds, we could see more clouds during the afternoon.  We'll essentially go from 100°+ temperatures to the mid-90s.

                There are a few disturbances that could bring our temperatures down another notch or two early next week before the heat builds back, but no significant relief is seen in the long-term.  I guess the dog days of summer are just about here.

                We're tracking a Tropical Storm in the Caribbean named Chantal.  She's racing to the west-northwest and will eventually track across the island of Hispañola and up towards the Bahamas.  From there, the path of Chantal is in question.  It may continue into the southeastern United States (likely as a weaker Tropical Storm) or it could make a curve into the Florida peninsula and perhaps emerge into the Gulf of Mexico for a period of time.  Either way, that storm is a long ways from Oklahoma and the path would have to be just right to even have a remote influence on our weather.  I know one thing, we'd welcome her rain!  We already lose about 10 inches of water in July to evaporation alone.  It's almost always a losing battle to sustain decent moisture in our soil this time of year.  The Tropics do occasionally offer us some wet relief in the summer.

                Stay cool and hydrated!  Be sure to follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook!

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