TULSA, Oklahoma - After an extremely muggy and stormy start to our holiday weekend, we have enjoyed a couple days of much-deserved dry and mild weather. Memorial Day weekend often marks the end of peak severe weather season and typically the episodes get fewer and farther between here in Green Country. However, the week ahead is offering more unsettled weather.  This carries on the trend of an above-average year in severe weather not just here, but across the U.S. The country has seen more tornadoes up to this point in the year than any year since 2011. Partly due to many wintertime tornadoes in the Deep South, 2017 is pacing ahead of normal. No tornado deaths have occurred in the month of May nationwide, but earlier season tornadoes brought fatalities to 32 so far this year. While Oklahoma was spared the worst on Saturday the season is not over yet. Below are the tornado reports in the U.S. so far this year by location and date.

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                Overall, these last two days of May will be relatively quiet. A weak boundary in the area will trigger widely scattered thundershowers in northeast Oklahoma over the next few days, but severe weather is not anticipated and storm coverage will be low. As we turn the calendar over to June, the storms will ramp back up. However, unlike last week, the storms ahead will be lower in intensity. This is due to weaker winds aloft (the strong polar jet stream has shifted farther north) and to less instability in place. A weak upper-level low pressure will creep across the Southern Plains from midweek into the weekend. Heavy storms will periodically flare up beneath it and spread northeastward.  The first bigger round shows up Thursday.

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                The main issue with the late-week storms will be the repeated bouts of heavy rain. Much of Green Country still has saturated soils so the threshold for flash flooding is relatively low. Another 2” to 3” of rain may fall (see below).  As that wayward piece of upper-level energy continues to move over the state, repeated rounds of rain and heavy storms will be likely. Finally, a kicker system will send that low east and a cold front south through the area over the weekend. This should put a temporary stop to our wet conditions. This likely happens early Sunday.

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                From there, the pattern still looks… wet. The intensity of storm systems may decrease for us as the jet stream continues its seasonal shift northward. However, any storms this time of year need to be watched as it doesn’t take much to trigger some severe wind or hail. This wet trend likely continues through the month of June as longer-range computer models don’t change our jet stream pattern all that much. Every couple of days, a new storm system will arrive to provide us some degree of rain and storms.  This will keep our temperatures from skyrocketing upward. True Oklahoma summer heat may be held at bay, but the muggy factor may rise with less relief from humidity as time goes on. It’s the trade-off for a rainy start to the summer season.  Below is the June outlook prepared by our friends over at Frontier Weather, which is consistent with our thinking.

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                Enjoy the nice final hours of May and the rainy start to June! For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.