August Heat on Retreat For Now
Following multiple rounds of severe weather last week into the weekend, we are relishing some incredible weather right now, especially by August standards in Oklahoma. The lack of heat is a definite treat. Monday featured the coolest high temperature in three months in Tulsa (just 80°)! With nearly full sunshine Tuesday, our readings crested only in the mid-80s. The graph below shows our “cool” spell so far in Tulsa. Of course, long-time residents of the area know it is too early to be done with serious summer heat quite yet.
The inevitable warm-up is on hold a bit longer due to a period of potentially unsettled weather over the next few days. A weak storm system will send widespread clouds and remnant showers into northeast Oklahoma by Wednesday with a stronger wave arriving Thursday morning with a higher potential for rain and thunder. The added clouds will stunt the daytime warming both Wednesday and Thursday to some extent. That means we should stay under 90° until the end of the week. Below is the rain chance timeline for Tulsa. Amounts will be low and spotty compared to recent storms.
Following Thursday’s wave of clouds and rain, a warm front arrives. This will send those temperatures readily into the 90s by Friday afternoon and those morning lows down only into the mid-70s for Tulsa. The only relief might come with the flare up of a few thundershowers during the day Friday before the last of the upper-level energy passes by the state.
That means we are in for a hot and very humid weekend. Recent rainfall is a double-edged sword since it initially keeps our temperatures cooler, but the mugginess is only enhanced following a wet spell. Heat index values will climb above the century mark starting Friday and each afternoon thereafter for at least a week. The heat ridge takes hold as shown above and little opportunity for rain will come with that pattern. The only heat relief might come in a gradual shift in that heat dome to the east, plateauing our temperatures near seasonable levels. Below is our heat index trend into next week. Yes, the dog days are returning.
There appears to be no sizable shift in the weather pattern in fact through Labor Day weekend. We will maintain the heat and slowly dry out again. The benefits: more pool time and a chance to catch up on mowing. The negatives: the mild air for now is just a tease and not a sign of the changing seasons quite yet.
The other unusual thing in the weather world is taking place in the Tropics. It’s really the lack of what is taking place in the Atlantic Ocean that is staring to get attention. There are no hurricanes, tropical storms or even tropical waves of note as we near the heart of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. A swing towards El Niño and an unusually large amount of Saharan dust blowing over that segment of the sea are inhibiting tropical development at this point. However, in the Pacific, a major hurricane (Lane) is threatening Hawaii with a potential landfall over the island chain by the end of the week. Below is its current forecast track. Landfalling hurricanes are rare in Hawaii, happening on average only once about every decade.