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Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Record Highs Ahead Of Cold Front

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It was another very warm day today; in fact, a record-setting day for some locations including OKC at 93 degrees and McAlester at 92.

From the OK Mesonet, the max/min temperature map once again shows quite a temperature range with 40s to low 50s to start the day and 80s and 90s to end the day. That is a function of the very dry air that is in place which is also contributing to low humidity levels during the heat of the day, which, in turn, contributes to an enhanced fire danger. At least the winds have been light for the last few days.

Changes in the weather will be arriving later Thursday and that night when a cool front pushes across the state bringing an end to the heat and also a chance of badly needed rainfall. However, as you can see on the 1-2-day QPF map, any showers that do occur will be on the light side.

We have brought the chances of any one location receiving measurable rainfall up, as it appears there will be greater areal coverage, but the amounts still look to be very light and will not do much more than settle the dust for most of us.

Ahead of that boundary, temperatures will be soaring again Thursday afternoon after a relatively mild start. Most of us should be in the low-mid 50s to start the day, with a light E wind and clear skies. As the day wears on, our winds will be more from the S/SW, and many locations will be near 90 - which means records will be threatened once again.

That will also create a fire danger situation as the relative humidity drops into the 20-30 percent range along with the stronger winds.

The timing of the cool front suggests it will be arriving along the Highway 412 corridor around the 6 p.m. time frame and quickly moving on southward after that. As always, there is some uncertainty regarding the timing of the front, which could have an impact on temperatures. At any rate, locations south of the front will be flirting with record high temperatures, and locations north of the front will have gusty northerly winds and a chance of rain as most of the rain looks to be post-frontal.

That means the rain should have ended by Friday morning followed by decreasing cloud cover later in the day. Although daytime temperatures will be only slightly below normal, gusty northerly winds will make it feel much cooler.

After that, the weekend is looking rather pleasant with more seasonal temperatures under fair to partly cloudy skies, and our winds returning to a southerly direction, as you can see on our forecast page.

Problem though, is that gusty southerly winds will return for Sunday into early next week which will start a warming trend and also ramp up the fire danger. However, the longer range guidance has maintained some consistency from run to run and model to model in bringing another cool front through the state by early Wednesday of next week.

The difference with this system is that it has a much better rain footprint, and that is evident with the 7-day QPF map and the higher rain chances on our forecast page. Hopefully, subsequent data runs will confirm that trend and perhaps even bring more rain our way, as we certainly could use it.

Looking further down the road, the 8-14-day outlooks continue to suggest temperatures averaging above normal for that time frame, but also suggesting better chances of additional rainfall.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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