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Looking for an End to the Dry Spell

Michael Grogan's Weather Blog: Looking For An End To The Dry Spell

Posted: Updated:
TULSA, Oklahoma -

We are still nearly 11” over the year-to-date average rainfall in Tulsa, but that surplus can only carry us so far before we return to a full-ledge drought again. The latest Drought Monitor was released on Thursday and shows abnormally dry conditions creeping into the perimeter of Green Country with extreme drought already entrenched in far southeastern Oklahoma.  The measly bit of rain we had Friday was not much help either. However, there are signs this dry spell may come to an end in the near future.         

Originally, it looked like the middle of this next week would provide soaking rains to the area. Now, our computer models have backed off entirely on that prospect as that incoming storm system becomes cut-off from the upper-level flow that would steer it our way. That puts our hopes for rain on hold a bit longer and prolongs our fire danger. As a high pressure center moves to the east and that low pressure system sits to our west, strong south winds will be induced. That, combined with dry air, will bring our fire danger up through midweek.  Gusts over 30mph are possible at times.  While only McCurtain County in far southeast Oklahoma is under a Burn Ban, outdoor fires are highly discouraged over the next few days.

Our prospect for rain is looking better as we head into next weekend, however. Between a plume of Tropical Moisture surging northward from the Gulf and the slow-moving storm system moving in from our west, rain is a pretty good bet starting Friday. It’s yet to be seen if this system sweeps through Oklahoma or if it lingers for several days. The latter scenario could provide the area with several inches of rain while the first may only settle the dust.  For now, the Weather Prediction Center is calling for an inch to two inches in Green Country late in the week.  It may not be enough to end the drought in southern Oklahoma, but should put the fire danger on hold.

Through the end of October, there are no signs of any Arctic air rushing into our state. Some years, we see our first cold outbreak where freezes become a concern prior to Halloween.  This year, the polar jet stream is keeping that air mass pretty much locked up north of the border.  By November, all bets are off.  In the meantime, our outlook is for above-normal temperatures to prevail. 70° to 80° highs are possible on days without widespread cloud cover and rain (like this upcoming weekend).  In essence, great fall weather is sticking around for the next few weeks with hopefully an interruption for some much-needed rain – even if that rain must fall on Oktoberfest weekend. Prost!

Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and like my Facebook Page for more updates on the weather around Green Country!

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