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Rain Chances Today, Then Hot, Humid.

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Day camp at Camp Tulakogee(www.tulakogee.com) with several hundred 1-2 graders last week was actually rather pleasant with the milder temperatures and mostly cloudy skies. I mention that because the general pattern we have been in over the past week or so remains in place, more or less. The dominant features aloft are a ridge which has been meandering around to our SW or W and a very strong trough for this time of year which has been more or less anchored in the vicinity of the Hudson's Bay/Great Lakes area. This has kept NE OK in a weak NW flow pattern aloft which is usually an unsettled pattern for us.

However, the stronger flow has been just a bit further north where the heaviest showers/storms have been moving across S KS producing some flooding problems up there this past week. That will be the case again today with most of the showers/storms concentrated further north and a strong gradient in the clouds/rain from N to S. Locations along and north of Hwy 412 will have at least a 50% chance of showers/storms with the chances dropping off rapidly to the south. This will also have an impact on temperatures with little or no sunshine for the northern counties holding daytime highs in the 80s while lots more sunshine for the more southern counties will push them well into the 90s along with heat index values well over 100.

There will be a short term expansion of the upper level ridge over us for the next few days which will reduce the rain chances and expand the heat through about the middle of the coming week. However, after that yet another boundary will be dropping this way with a more active NW flow pattern aloft becoming re-established to end the week and going into the coming weekend.

This means that after the clouds/showers/storms today and tonight, Monday through most of the day Wednesday will likely be the hottest we have been for awhile. Daytime highs will be in the upper 90s under mostly sunny skies and heat index values will likely approach 110 which is getting into dangerous territory. Also, our winds will be from a more SW component for Mon, Tue, and most of the day Wed which will also contribute to the heat. However, the wet soils and green vegetation should combine to hold daytime highs below triple digits for most of us; the exception would likely be the more SW counties.

Then, the NW flow pattern aloft strengthens pushing the upper level ridge further to the W/SW and allowing another frontal boundary to push into the area and stall out. That should occur late Wednesday or overnight which will then be followed by another unsettled pattern for the rest of the week into the weekend with daily chances of showers/storms. That will also bring temperatures back down to at or below normal for that time frame. Notice the QPF map on the right and you will see that most of NE OK will be on the southern fringe of where the heaviest rains are expected to be which once again will be just north of us into KS. However, that could shift a little one way or the other over the course of the coming week.

By the way, the outlook through the middle of August also strongly suggests that this NW flow pattern will persist with below normal temperatures and above normal chances of rain through at least the middle of the month. Quite a contrast to the last two summers.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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