Finally, the western part of our state is picking up some badly needed rainfall with more on the way. The map shows the rainfall totals as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the good folks at the OK Mesonet. The system producing those showers/storms is also headed our way and will be spreading numerous showers/storms across Green Country tonight and into the day Wednesday.
Those showers/storms also kept the NW counties on the cool side whereas the sunny skies we had for awhile today pushed our daytime temperatures well into the 70s. For Tulsa, the max/min so far today has been 75/50. Click here for the normal and extreme values for this date or any other date for that matter.
As mentioned, the showers/storms out west will be spreading our way overnight bringing the potential for locally heavy rainfall, dangerous lightning, and possibly some embedded severe storms. The primary severe threat looks to be wind/hail and although the tornado threat is low, it is not zero. So, advise being very weather aware for tonight through the day Wednesday. The way things look to be developing now, it appears that we will have at least scattered showers/storms overnight with a more organized line arriving during the morning hours. That activity will move on eastward giving us a break during the day and perhaps even some early afternoon sunshine. Then another round of showers/storms is expected to reform by late afternoon, but it is a close call as to just where that activity will form. It may impact primarily the more eastern counties and will also be moving on eastward. That should then be followed by some wraparound redevelopment Wednesday night which may linger into the morning hours of Thursday before we get a break. In other words, it looks like several rounds of showers/storms for tonight, Wednesday, ending by early Thursday morning.
As far as temperatures are concerned, we should only cool off to around 60 for tonight, then if we do get the dry slot with some afternoon sunshine for early Wednesday afternoon, then we will make it back into the 70s for a daytime high before the clouds and the next round of showers/storms starts reforming.
Thursday will be on the backside and with mostly cloudy skies lingering for most of the day along with a brisk NW wind, temperatures will be much cooler. We expect to start the day near 50 but it will be a rather short thermometer with afternoon temperatures holding in the 50s for most of the day and topping out around 60 or the low 60s at best.
Friday looks to be dry along with seasonal temperatures for a change. We should have partly cloudy skies, a NE breeze and morning lows back into the 40s followed by afternoon temperatures topping out in the mid-upper 60s.
As you can see on our forecast page, another chance of rain returns for late Saturday or more likely for the overnight hours of Saturday night and into Sunday morning. That is expected to be followed by another round of showers/storms by Sunday night into the day Monday so we have another potentially significant storm system coming our way over the course of this coming weekend. As you can see on the upper level wind map valid for Friday morning, I have labeled the storm system that will be impacting our weather for the next two days as #1, the weekend system as #2. Again, this is the 500 mb level or about 18,000' above sea level and the colors represent the strongest winds at that level, i.e. the jet stream. As you can see, by Friday, #1 is east of us and we will be between systems for the balance of the day Friday and into Saturday before #2 bears down on us for the latter part of the weekend. Also, keep in mind that since #2 is currently well out in the Pacific, there continues to be considerable uncertainty regarding its ultimate track/timing/intensity.
At least the 7 day QPF is still optimistic regarding the rainfall potential over that time period with the series of storm systems moving our way. We certainly need the moisture, we just do not need it all at once as there will be at least some potential for localized flooding in the days ahead. Also, these rains may or may not turn out to be drought breakers but should at least put a big dent in our ongoing drought situation.
Looking further down the road, the 8-14 day outlook now suggests a more settled pattern for that time frame with no organized showers or storms. If so, then certainly hope these next two systems live up to their potential so we can get at least some run-off into the area ponds, streams, and lakes. So, stay tuned and check back for updates. It certainly could get interesting in the days ahead.