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Dog Days of Summer Are Here

Dog Days of Summer Are Here

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The title of this blog is perhaps the biggest no-brainer if you’re in Oklahoma in early August.  After all, this time of year is known for stretches of 100° heat in the state. In any case, we definitely have a heat wave on our hands. High temperatures will be at or above the century mark for days on end with heat index values topping 105° every afternoon in the foreseeable future. This may not seem unusual – and it’s not – but our average high temperature this time of year is only in the mid-90s.

                That all-too-familiar “Heat Dome” is back.  This high pressure ridge is shunting the jet stream north, and with it goes the storm track into the northern Plains and Canada. It’s either that or a Tropical system that would provide some relief from the heat… and neither is an immediate possibility for us.  Recent rainfall is still contributing to that unwelcome moisture in the air resulting in heat index values 5° to 10° above the actual temperature.  Below are today’s maximum heat indices.

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                The upper-level high pressure will slowly weaken as the week goes along. This won’t necessarily drop our temperatures between now and the weekend, but will allow storm systems to get closer to the region as that zonal flow in the jet stream to our north slides southward.  Eventually, this may put us in line to see additional clouds and a few pop-up showers and storms into early next week, which WOULD provide a little heat relief.

                Until then, we will have little temperature fluctuation and just modest changes in our moisture levels, which will impact how high the heat index values climb each afternoon.  Right now, Wednesday and Thursday might be the two hottest days with a potential heat index nearing 108°.

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                Our temperatures aren’t the only things heating up. The Tropics are now active with just over a month until we reach peak Hurricane Season in the Atlantic Basin. Tropical Storm Earl emerged in the past day in the southern Caribbean.  It is a strengthening system moving westward, likely to make landfall in the country of Belize, affecting there along with the entire Yucatan Peninsula. It may emerge back into the Bay of Campeche before making a second landfall along the Mexican coastline, well south of the U.S. border.  The track is shown below.

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                While Earl is not on a direct track for anywhere in the U.S., by early next week, it’s remnant moisture could be pulled northward by that southward-advancing jet stream to enable greater rain and storm coverage for any passing system next week.  That is why the Outlook, 6 to 10 days out, calls for near to above normal rain chances.  At least some change in the pattern may be coming into mid-August.  However, the outlook calls for continued above-normal temperatures.  This time of year, that could easily mean more triple-digit heat when it’s not cloudy or raining.

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                Stay cool and remember the first two weeks in August are generally the hottest of the year. Pretty soon, we’ll have crested that peak and will be on the refreshing downhill slope to cooler fall weather.  Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGo and on my Facebook Page for more weather updates!

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