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Hot & Humid, But at Least a Chance for Storms.

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Ugh….another hot, humid day today with afternoon temperatures once again ranging from the upper 80s to the low 90s and heat index values near triple digits.  In fact, for Tulsa the max/min has been 92/78 so far today and the heat index has reached 100.  You can click here to see what the normal and extreme values are for Tulsa at this time of year. 

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The next few days will not be any better in that regard and in fact will likely be even warmer as you can see on our forecast page.  Look for daytime highs to generally be in the low-mid 90s for Thu-Sat and heat index values to be at or above triple digits each afternoon.  Also, the gusty southerly winds that have prevailed all this week will not be quite as strong in the coming days so there will be less ventilation making the combination of heat and humidity even more uncomfortable.  There will not be much relief at night either as the high dew points will keep us quite warm with morning lows only dropping into the mid-upper 70s for the most part.

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It still looks like we will get at least some brief relief on Sunday into early next week as a cool front should be pushing through the state during the day Sunday and should make it to the Red River valley before stalling out and becoming diffuse.  At least the more northerly wind component behind that boundary will bring some milder and drier air back over the state giving us something to look forward to.

There will also be almost daily chances of showers and storms along with even a slight chance of a few storms reaching severe limits.  Given the high instability that will be available but the very weak dynamic environment, i.e. light winds aloft, the primary threat will be locally damaging winds and small hail as temperatures are so warm that much of the hail will be melting as it approaches the surface.  The instability is expected to reach extreme levels though so what storms can fire will likely develop very quickly and then move in a general SE direction with the upper level wind flow.

Cannot rule out a few storms developing this evening or early tonight primarily over the western part of the state and into KS which would then make a run at us during the overnight or early morning hours.  Those will be weakening as they do so but could still produce localized wind gusts and brief downpours.  A better chance will be Thursday night into the early morning hours of Friday when a complex of storms looks to be forming in Central KS that afternoon which would then move our way that night.  Those would have a better chance of reaching severe limits, again primarily a damaging wind threat.  Another possibility will be Friday night into Saturday morning and then again with the actual cool front on Sunday.

At least we will have several opportunities for rain which is certainly needed as some locations have basically been dry for more than 3 weeks. Notice the number of days since some of us have received even as much as ¼” of rain and the sunshine, heat, and wind of recent days has really dried things out.  In fact, evaporation rates are still running as high as 0.4” per day at some of our area lakes as computed by the COE.  

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Given that we will have several opportunities for showers/storms, the 7 day QPF has picked up on a somewhat wetter signal.  Keep in mind though that this represents an areal average and some locations could receive much more while nearby locations receive very little.

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Also the 8-14 day outlook suggests a return to above normal temperatures along with a near normal pattern of scattered showers/storms.  By then, our normal daytime highs are near 90 and storms are at best on a scattered basis.

So, thanks for reading the blog and stay tuned for updates.

Dick Faurot 

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