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Chance Of Storms Friday; Heat Builds After That

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Big piece of humble pie; that is what Mother Nature served up today.  Nope, did not see what happened this afternoon coming.  As an example of how crazy our weather has been over the last 24 hours, notice the hourly temperature chart for Tulsa today.  As you can see, temperatures surged to our daily maximum of 91 at about 3AM due to a heat burst, then dropped into the upper 60s with the rain cooled air early this afternoon; only in Oklahoma! 

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Along with the storms came the damaging winds which were up to the 80-90 range for some locations.  Doppler radar measurements indicated even stronger winds aloft so this was certainly a rather unique event.  So far, all indications suggest this was a straight line wind event and an extreme one at that, but damage surveys in the coming days will make that final determination.

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At least we did get some badly needed rainfall as you can see from the OK Mesonet for today.  However, the horizontal nature of much of the rain likely means these numbers are an underestimate.  By the way, the official total in Tulsa for today, as measured at the airport, exceeded an inch for the first time since May 25. 

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So, now what to expect.  Currently, another round of showers/storms is developing in E Colorado and that activity will likely dive to the SE.  It certainly will not be a repeat of what we just experienced, but later tonight there will be a chance of at least a few showers/storms, some of which may be marginally severe.  Again, our atmosphere is pretty well worked over after what happened today so that should preclude anything major happening tonight.

That should then leave us with only a slight chance of a few morning showers, but yet another round of potentially strong to severe storms is expected to make a run at us late Friday into the overnight hours.  That will be followed by the heat dome building over the state as mentioned in previous posts which will effectively shut off our rain chances and bring a return to hot, muggy conditions; only this time with much lighter winds which will make it much more stifling as you can see on our forecast page.

At least the rain cooled air this evening will result in a nice start to our day on Friday with morning lows in the 60s to low 70s.  Mostly cloudy skies for much of the day should confine our daytime highs to the upper 80s or low 90s along with a relatively light SE wind.

After that, the heat starts building under mostly sunny skies and our rain chances will drop into the slim to none category.  As you can see on the 8-14 day outlook, there is a strong signal suggesting above normal temperatures and along with that comes below normal precipitation

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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