We are truly blessed in OK to have the OK Mesonet which provides such detailed, high density weather data which is so helpful for a wide variety of users. For example, fire danger has been a major concern today and a quick look at the OK Mesonet this afternoon details where conditions have been the most conducive for fires. Notice temperatures around the state as of mid-afternoon and keep in mind that we would normally be in the 40s at this time of year. In other words, those temperatures are running 20+ degrees above normal. For Tulsa, the official max/min today has been 72/42 as compared to the normal values of 49/28.
Now, notice relative humidity levels have dropped below the 30% range in the same general areas where the temperatures are the warmest and that combination will help dry out the dormant vegetation despite the rains that feel on some locations over the weekend.
Couple that with the strong and gusty winds that have prevailed through the afternoon, particularly in the same general locations where the temperatures are the warmest and the relative humidity levels the lowest; and that is a prescription for fire danger.
Those conditions will be changing tonight as a vigorous cold front will be pushing across the state and will be arriving along the I-44 corridor shortly after midnight. Ahead of this front, those gusty SW winds will be subsiding, temperatures slowly falling, and humidity levels rising. That will help to mitigate the fire danger for the evening hours.
By morning and through the day Wednesday, we will have a gusty NW wind of 10-20+ mph which will still be a fire danger concern but the temperature will be much cooler and humidity levels will be much higher so that will certainly help. Look for temperatures to generally be in the lower 30s to start the day which is still a bit above normal, but daytime highs will hold in the mid-upper 40s which is at or a little below normal. Relative humidity levels during the heat of the day will stay above 40% so not nearly as dry as today.
As you can see on our forecast page, temperatures will be at or somewhat below normal as a general rule right on through the coming weekend. That generally translates into daytime highs in the 40s and overnight lows in the 20s. There will be some occasional cirrus or high level clouds passing over from time to time, but no mention of rain. In fact, the 7 day QPF has the state high and dry and for that matter much of the country will be enjoying a relatively quiet weather pattern over the coming 7 days.
Looking further down the road, the 8-14 day outlook suggests warmer than normal conditions on average for the rest of next week and it also keeps us with a general drier than normal trend over that time frame.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.