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Heat Advisories In Effect For Tuesday

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Notice the 48 hour rainfall totals across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, and it is obvious some had too much and some are still looking for a good rain.  Some locations such as around Nowata picked up 6+ inches of rainfall while others barely had enough to settle the dust.  For example, the ‘official’ rainfall for Tulsa as measured at the airport was just over ½”. 

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Now, notice the 96 hour totals and once again, some locations received too much and others are relatively dry.  The bulls-eye over Pawnee with 8+ inches stands out and radar estimates suggest there may have been much more than that.  Point is that with these summer time storms, they will often move very slowly or in some cases keep redeveloping over the same general location.  The result is flooding downpours for some while not too far away others could use some moisture.

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One thing those rains have done is replenish the soil moisture for most locations which will keep the vegetation green and growing for at least the short term.  We often refer to that as a rain footprint as locations near and downwind will not be as hot as would otherwise be the case.  Make no mistake, it will still be hot in the days ahead, but that extensive rain footprint is expected to keep any triple digits at bay with mostly mid-upper 90s as you can see on our forecast page.

However, that extra moisture also means the combination of heat and humidity will be an issue as the dew point temperature will most likely hold in the 70s.  As you can see on the muggy meter, that is miserable.  That will also put heat index values at or above 105 which is why the good folks at the NWS have issued heat advisories for Tuesday afternoon and will likely be required for several more days after that.

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We will also have a brisk southerly breeze which will be gusty at times and which will not be going completely calm during the overnight hours.  For that reason, we will not be getting much relief at night, particularly in the urban environment where lows will not likely drop below the 80 degree mark for most of this week.

As for any additional chances of showers or storms, a weak upper level wave will be moving across the state Tuesday night and could produce an isolated shower or storm.  But, the chances are very small.  A somewhat stronger system will be brushing by the more northern counties this coming weekend and although we expect to be on the fringe of that activity, there will still be at least a chance of showers or storms by then.  Also, a little more cloud cover should knock temperatures back at least a few degrees.

Looking further down the road, the long range guidance continues to suggest above normal temperatures along with only scattered showers/storms for the 8-14 day time frame.  That means little relief from the heat and humidity.  That would suggest our soils will start to dry out which will make it more likely for triple digit temperatures to occur.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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