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A Break in the Heat, Increasing Chances of Rain.

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Have been referencing the QPF map for the last few days now because it illustrates the significant change in our weather pattern as well as anything. You may recall that just a couple of days ago we were dealing with more hot, dry weather going into next week. Then yesterday, the data latched onto a significant change in the pattern aloft which was suggestive of a wetter, cooler pattern for us by the latter part of the weekend and into next week. The QPF map issued today and valid for the following week continues to indicate the potential for some significant rains for the state during that period. In fact, there is a bulls-eye of 3" or more possible in the center of the state as you can see on the right. Keep in mind that this is an areal average so some locations could end up with much more and others of course less. Bottom line is we have a decent shot at receiving some badly needed rainfall during that period.

That is significant as the second map on the right shows the percent of normal rainfall across the state over the last 30 days, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Very little of the state is anywhere close to normal during that time period and for many locations it has been more than 3 weeks now since we have received any rainfall of consequence.

This change in the pattern at this time of year is unusual to say the least and there remains some uncertainty regarding the exact track of the upper level system and just how much moisture it will have to work with. That is why I have been only slowly raising the rainfall chances and dropping temperatures as we are dealing with a very anomalous system and the pattern could flip on us. However, since yesterday morning the data has been consistently bringing a system from NE to SW and over the state which is highly unusual. Again, for a system to retrograde that much is atypical so am a little reluctant to get too excited. After all, this is mid-July and we are in an ongoing drought for much of the state so sometimes the tendency is not to believe that the rains will come till we actually see the rain falling.

At any rate, the increasing cloud cover and at least scattered showers/storms will have an impact on temperatures. Saturday will be the last day with above normal temperatures with daytime highs in the mid 90s. After that, Sunday through the middle of next week will likely see daytime temperatures in the 80s which is below normal for a change. If the clouds/showers/storms linger throughout the day, which at least one of the longer range data sets suggests, then we may even struggle to get above 80.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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