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Record-breaking April Leading to a Quieter Start to May

Record-breaking April Leading to a Quieter Start to May

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After a weekend of relentless storms, record rainfall, massive flooding, tornadoes, high winds and, yes, even a blizzard in Oklahoma, we are finally seeing quieter weather taking shape. 2 tornadoes were confirmed between Friday night and Saturday, fortunately only causing minor swaths of damage in far eastern Oklahoma. The biggest issue was the torrential rain that led to widespread flash flooding and near-record river flooding. Below are the storm totals from Friday into Sunday. As expected, east-central Oklahoma took the brunt of the rainfall with 7” to 8” amounts common. This was an area steeped in drought just weeks ago. Now, just about every farm pond is full, river overflowing and lake brimming above normal.

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                Tulsa closed out the month with a record 10.43” of rainfall, besting the previous April record by over an inch set back in 2008. And now, we are entering the wettest month on average in the year.  More rain is just around the corner, but we’ve got another 2 days to dry out first. That’s not nearly enough time to de-saturate our soil, but at least our rivers will be falling below flood stage by midweek.

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                We’ll enjoy a clear and cool start to the work week. Temperatures may dip briefly into the 30s Monday morning in a few spots, but moisture levels in the air will keep those numbers from bottoming out too much.  Sunshine galore during the day will spike those readings into the 70s, kicking off the much-needed evaporation process.

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By Tuesday, an upper level wave will dive into the Plains, increasing our clouds. We’ll be kept dry during the day, but that night, it’s back to wet weather for much of northeast Oklahoma. A band of moderate to heavy rain may set up in the area, dumping up to a few inches more of water in a few small areas, mainly north of I-40 as it looks right now. It’s not the same caliber of system as our weekend one was, but it could add insult to injury. This system will linger into Wednesday as it becomes better organized. Fortunately, it won’t have its act together for severe weather in our area so we’ll just see the cool rains stick around longer on the back side of the storm system. Above are the projected rainfall amounts.

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                As the week goes along, that storm system slides slowly eastward, leaving a quiet pattern in its wake. In fact, a ridge of high pressure sets up in the central U.S. in about a week, reinforced by a stalled upper level low pressure to our west and a blocking tough over the Northeast. This gives us an unusually dry and quiet stretch of weather for the first 10 days of the month, aside from our midweek storm system.

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This is about the best news possible for our battered state. This drier than normal pattern likely holds until about mid-month before another wet and active storm pattern takes hold. For us weary meteorologists, we welcome a period of quiet weather. For those suffering from flooding, this is substantial relief. We’ll just hope Tuesday night and Wednesday’s rains don’t get too carried away.

                For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.

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