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Unusual August Rains Resume

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The rainy weather is back and we're facing the unexpected problem of flooding… in the middle of August! Don't get me wrong, rain in August is almost always a welcome thing in Oklahoma. In fact, people are still thanking for the showers and storms (despite my lack of control in the weather of course). However, it's less about their gardens soaking up needed moisture and more about keeping our temperatures below the dreaded triple-digits, which is what we've come to expect over the last two summers. I love see a mighty full Arkansas River, a very green Green Country, and seeing Lake Skiatook inching its way out of its massive deficit of water. However, with every deluge comes the increased threat for loss of life and property.

Over the past 10 days, between 1 and 3 inches have soaked the northern two-thirds of the state as shown in our attached map. A portion of far northeastern Oklahoma has even seen more than half a foot of water soak the landscape. Tulsa averages less than 3 inches of rain for the entire month of August so this is clearly out of the norm. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through at least Tuesday evening. Repeated rounds of heavy rain with storms will cause plenty of run-off water that rushes to low-lying lands and roads. It will be a dangerous scenario if you're traveling during or just after a heavy rain event so be smart and follow the adage, "Turn Around, Don't Drown." It only takes about a foot and a half of moving water to move your entire vehicle!

This series of rainy days is thanks to northwesterly flow in the jet stream, causing little impulses in the middle and upper levels of the atmosphere to spawn widespread thunderstorms and have them train over the same areas in a corridor from northwest to southeast. We are in the track of that as a cold front at the surface sags south through the region Tuesday in response to that northwesterly flow. That front will serve as an added focus for storms, which will be efficient rain-producers. The focus of this activity gradually shifts south of the area late Wednesday.

The second map shows the additional rainfall expected for the rest of the week. It looks like the next few days will be best spent indoors unless you're sporting a rain jacket or umbrella. Once the rain clears, we are in for about the best stretch of August weather that you can imagine! The air will dry out a bit, the sun will be out, at the very least, intermittently, and temperatures will only warm into the mid to possibly upper 80s! Best of all, we should be dry long enough to tackle the jungle that is your yard! The deep trough in the jet stream over the Great Lakes will expand that pleasant air mass through the state and keep it in place for a good while. I don't see any triple-digit heat in our near future. What's even wilder is that locations in northern Canada, north of the Arctic Circle, will be just as warm as us. If you're wondering where all the hot air went… it went north – way north.

Enjoy the rain and unusually pleasant temperatures! Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and like my page on Facebook!

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