Oklahoma, Here Comes the Heat
Hope you enjoyed the break from the heat and humidity today. As you can see on the max/min temperature map, the rain cooled air from yesterday’s storms certainly helped hold temperatures down both for the morning lows and the afternoon highs. Unfortunately, that will not be the case in the days ahead as a ridge of high pressure aloft will be building over the Central Plains putting a lid on any additional rain chances and providing plenty of sunshine along with the building heat. So, certainly hope you enjoyed the break as the days ahead look to be downright stifling.
There will be one more decent chance of showers and storms for later tonight as a complex is now moving this way from KS/NW OK, but there is considerable uncertainty regarding how much of that will actually reach Green Country. The latest/greatest data runs all suggest those storms will be weakening considerably by the time they reach us and may have completely dissipated. Nonetheless, will keep a chance of some late night showers/storms and a few of those could be locally quite strong.
After that, a very few hit or miss showers/storms could pop up during the afternoon hours of Saturday, particularly in the terrain favored locations. But, beyond that our rain chances will be pretty well into the slim to none category going through the rest of July. That makes our recent rains all the more important as both May and June were relatively dry. Notice the rainfall totals across the state over the last 3 days; the rains have certainly been a blessing but it sure would have been nice not to have had the damaging winds that accompanied them.
Another consideration is the rain footprint from those recent rains will mitigate the amount of heating for at least a few days. That is because more of the sun’s energy goes into evaporation of the soil moisture and also transpiration of the vegetation, or what is referred to as evapotranspiration. As the soils dry and the vegetation become more stressed, then more of the sun’s heat goes into heating the ground surface which in turn heats the air. This process takes time so we should stay below triple digits going into next week, but as you can see on our forecast page, we do expect triple digit air temperatures by the latter part of the week. Of course, that rain footprint also means more moisture into the air which in turn means the heat index will likely be well into triple digits and heat advisories or heat warnings appear likely for much of next week.
Not only that, but the lighter winds associated with the heat dome also means a more stagnant weather pattern which could lead to air quality issues in the weeks ahead. Notice the 8-14 day outlook continues to show a strong signal suggesting above normal temperatures and along with that comes below normal precipitation
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.