More Heat… Then Relief
We had some brutal heat and rowdy storms over the weekend. Heat index values topped out at 113° in Tulsa and 115° near Bartlesville on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, storms erupted over eastern and southern parts of the area, dumping over 2” of rain in some spots. The storms are gone and intense summer heat is returning to the region again.
The notorious heat dome will be re-established over the region this week, strengthening over the next few days as you can see above. This will bring a rise in temperatures into midweek. Fortunately, stronger south winds will mix out *some* of our renewed low level moisture, reducing the heat index a hair. However, we’ll be falling into that dangerous heat category either way, prompting another Heat Advisory Tuesday (and likely to be extended later into the week). It appears we may have another triple-digit day or two Wednesday and/or Thursday before we find substantial relief. So far, we’ve hit 100° or above 3 days in Tulsa. Below, you’ll see our temperature trend for the week ahead.
The heat will break for us as the heat ridge retreats to the west later this week. This sends the storm track back to the south around that ridge and will pivot a backdoor cold front into our area as early as Thursday. Along it, we may see some scattered showers and storms. That is our next chance of rain. The focus for storms is limited so only some of us will end up with additional rain in our buckets (cue the lawn sprinklers). However, all of us will finally get more than just a fleeting moment of heat relief. Afternoon highs will dip back to about 90° and we may also dry out enough with this refreshing air mass from the north that morning lows will dip back into the 60s again. Break out the parkas!
The weather pattern will work to our benefit as we close out the month and head into August. A continued trough and upper-level low to our east will keep heat and moisture from returning readily thanks to a northerly flow in the jet stream. That means we’ll likely end up with an extended stretch with below normal temperatures as the outlook below shows! The first week in August is often when our summer heat peaks so this will contrast nicely with climatology. The only detractor will be the lack of rainfall also associated with the weather pattern. In that same timeframe, rain chances will be slim to none. The late summer browning of our landscape will slowly occur.
As we enter August, tropical activity really starts to pick up in the Atlantic basin. We’ve been in a significant lull over the past few weeks with only a few weak waves riding westward across the ocean from Africa. In contrast, the eastern Pacific is lit up with three separate tropical storms or hurricanes. These storms are lined up southwest of Mexico and fortunately just fish storms as they continue their way over the open sea for now.