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Summer Solstice Arrives

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Saturday, June 21st will be the "longest" day of 2014 with 14 hours and 37 minutes of daylight. I especially love the amount of sunlight during the evening hours this time of year. Our sunrise will occur at 6:07 am, just 16 minutes after the official moment that the summer begins. You can count on plenty of sun rays for the first day of the season as a quiet weather pattern takes hold for a few days. Just before to wear plenty of sunscreen outdoors as the sun is at its greatest angle to our latitude than any other time of the year. Therefore, it takes the least amount of time to get a nasty sunburn if we're not careful. Here's a great website to track sunlight in Tulsa throughout the year.

Temperatures will heat up into the lower 90s by afternoon both Saturday and Sunday. The amount of moisture in the air from the week's rainfall will inhibit the warm-up just a bit, but will contribute to a heat index well into the mid to upper 90s. Speaking of rainfall, some heavy amounts have occurred across our state, but only in limited sections. Most recently west-central and southern Oklahoma got dumped on by heavy thunderstorms. Flooding actually occurred along the I-40 corridor from Weatherford to Hinton Thursday evening.  The picture of flooded streets from Weatherford above was taken from our Share page. The rain footprint that you see in the first map will cause a slight decrease in actual air temperatures this weekend. All in all, this first official weekend of summer will be muggy (as it often is) and worthy of a visit to a pool or lake!

Starting Sunday afternoon limited rain chances return. A few pop-up t-storms are possible during the afternoon hours. However, a much better chance for storms arrives that night into Monday. That will be the start of another wet spell for Green Country. A developing trough in the jet stream will send another frontal boundary to Oklahoma where it will likely stall out for several days. This will put us in a zone for focused thunderstorm development. Waves of rain and storms are likely from early week on. That boundary will wobble north and south and shift the best chance of rain with it. For now, Monday and Wednesday appear to be the best opportunities for rain around Tulsa. The severe threat is low, but any organized complex of storms that would roll into our area, especially in the early morning hours of one of those days could cause a damaging wind threat. Flooding rainfall can't be ruled out either. Total rainfall through the next week may exceed 3". That could lead to another sizeable dent in the moderate to extreme drought still gripping parts of northeast and north-central Oklahoma. The weather pattern may finally allow a ridge of high pressure to build over the Southern Plains by late week, bringing us back to hotter temperatures and drier weather by next weekend.

So as we slip from one season to the next, we can be thankful for the rather quiet severe weather season with only 7 tornadoes state-wide and hope the season to come is kinder to us than previous summers with regards to heat. So far, it looks like we're starting on the right foot. Just stay cool, hydrated, and protected from the sun this weekend! Be sure to catch my updated forecast over the weekend. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter, @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page!

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