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Warming Trend; Also Storms Back in the Forecast.

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Another relatively cool day today, at least for this time of year.  So far, the max/min here in Tulsa has been 70/51 which is a far cry from the 81/62 that is normal.  Those numbers are not even close to record levels, but still very cool.  By the way, here is a link to the normal and extremes for Tulsa.  Also, note today’s max/min values across the rest of the state on the map, courtesy of the good folks at the OK Mesonet.

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For tonight, as the sun sets the skies will clear and the winds will calm down early but becoming more SE as the night wears on.  Wind speeds will still be light, but just enough of a breeze to keep temperatures from totally bottoming out.  Since our dew points are running in the 40s this afternoon, temperatures will quickly cool but then level off as the winds become more SE.  As a result, morning lows will be similar to what we had today with temperatures dropping into the upper 40s to lower 50s to start the day Thursday.

Lots of sunshine with only a few lonely clouds, if any at all, together with a gusty SE wind increasing to 15-25 mph by late morning will quickly warm things back up.  Look for afternoon highs to reach the upper 70s to lower 80s so pretty close to normal in that respect.  That gusty southerly wind component will continue through Thursday night which means Friday morning will start off much warmer with morning lows only dropping into the upper 60s to near 70.  Also, the nocturnal low level jet (LLJ) will persist through the overnight hours which could result in some overnight storms.  Right now, the data suggests the nose of that LLJ will be in KS, but cannot rule out an isolated storm or two right along the OK/KS state line.

After that warm start Friday morning, afternoon temperatures will reach the upper 80s to lower 90s but more moisture will also be present which will make it much more uncomfortable.  As you can see, heat index values will likely be well into the 90s as the dew point may reach 70 or more by afternoon. 

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That combination of heat and moisture also means a very unstable atmosphere except for the fact that a layer of very warm, dry air aloft will effectively provide a lid on storm development.  However, a weak frontal boundary will also make it into Green country that afternoon so cannot completely rule out a few isolated storms forming for the late afternoon into the early night time hours.  If any can get going, there would be a severe threat, primarily in form of wind/hail as the shear parameters are not very conducive for tornadoes. 

Saturday will have a greater chance of storms, some severe as a cool front will be pushing across the state late in the day and that night.  It will be hot and humid ahead of the front with daytime highs again near 90 and heat index values well into the 90s which means the atmosphere will be very unstable.  However, with the lift provided by the cool front moving through, storms will have a better chance of overcoming the capping inversion aloft so advise keeping a close eye on weather developments for the Saturday afternoon/evening/overnight time frame.

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As you can see on our forecast page, the rest of the holiday weekend looks pleasant.  There may be a few isolated showers lingering in the far E/SE counties Sunday morning, but northerly winds throughout the day will bring drier, somewhat cooler back into the state.  That means lots of sunshine for Sunday and Monday along with temperatures that will be somewhat cooler than normal.  Our next chance of rain is not expected until Tuesday night or Wednesday of next week.

But, notice that the longer range guidance for the 8-14 day period is still suggesting a more active period along with a trend to below normal temperatures as we go on into June.  So, stay tuned for updates.

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Dick Faurot

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