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Enjoy the Weekend.

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A beautiful day today and after a cool start, temperatures managed to make it into the 70s this afternoon, which is still below normal.  However, much lighter northerly winds and full sun made for a very pleasant day.  Notice the max/min temperatures across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.  For Tulsa, the max/min has been 76/47 so far today and here are the normal values for this time of year..

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Tonight will have clear skies and our winds will be light and variable for a time but returning to a more southerly direction by morning.  That means another cool night with temperatures dropping into the 40s and low 50s across the area.  As we go through the day Saturday expect those winds to become more SW and pick up to 10-15 mph which together with the sunny skies should bring afternoon temperatures into the lower 80s and perhaps even the mid 80s for some locations.  This warming trend will continue through the weekend and well into next week as you as you can see on our forecast page.  Southerly winds and lots of sunshine will keep temperatures above the normal levels both at night as well as during the day going into next week.  That also means you will need to keep the sunscreen handy as it will not take long to get a sunburn.

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Lots of sunshine to start the week should give way to increasing cloud cover along about Wednesday and there will be a chance of a few showers or storms by late Wednesday or more likely that night.  This next system will bring a better chance of showers/storms through the day Thursday and perhaps some lingering showers into the day Friday.  Right now, this system does not appear to be of the intensity of the last few which is certainly good news.  But, as you can see on the 7 day QPF, there will be the potential for an inch or more of rain for some locations, particularly the more northern counties the way things are looking now.

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The extended period of sunny, stable weather is somewhat unusual for May and the key is the wind flow aloft.  I have alluded to this in recent blogs and notice the next map which is the wind flow at the 500 mb level or about 18,000' above sea level.  The colors represent the strongest winds at that level, or the jet stream.  This map is the projected flow by Monday morning of this coming week.  As you can see there are storm centers (L) over the SW U.S. and over the NE U.S. and we are between the two.  This is a very stable pattern and one that is slow to change.  Since the upper level ridge is over OK, that will keep us sunny and warm until the storm center to our west begins to eject eastward.  Right now, the longer range guidance continues to struggle with the timing and impacts that system will have on our weather.  As mentioned before, am inclined to side with the slower solution which would give us our next best shot of rain along about Thursday of next week.  However, if it should accelerate any then cannot rule out showers/storms by late Wednesday.  Also, some wraparound showers on the backside would be possible into the day Friday.

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Notice the following map is of the same level but valid for Saturday of next week.  Notice it is also suggesting another blocking pattern to set up by then but the relative positions of the storm centers and the upper level ridge have changed.  This pattern also resembles an omega block but notice the upper level storm center east of us is much closer than the one for earlier in the week.  If this verifies, then we would be significantly cooler through next weekend along with partly cloudy skies and perhaps even a few light showers.  As is usually the case, those details will not become more apparent until later next week.

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But, if that blocking pattern does reassert itself, the implications for the 8-14 day time period are that temperatures would be, on average, somewhat cooler than normal.  It would also suggest the major storm systems will be diverted well away from us leaving only some scattered chances of rain during that period.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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