Severe & Flooding Threats Not Over Yet For Eastern Oklahoma
After a barrage of tornadoes and historic flooding, the last thing we want is more severe weather. However, we’re in for a couple of more rounds this week. How intense the storms will be and how much rain will fall are two key questions whose answers will provide a better idea on how we brace for the next iteration of impacts.
A much-needed window of dry conditions will continue until Tuesday afternoon when a strong storm system ejects out of the Southwest U.S. and sends a dry-line eastward into central Oklahoma. This will set the stage for supercellular storms to form in the presence of ample instability and wind shear. It’s not clear how many storms form and move eastward into Green Country, but any one of them would bring a threat of large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes. Be weather aware starting at 4pm on Tuesday. Storms could continue to form well into the night if the CAP (warm air aloft suppressing storm development) does not win out. Eventually though, we’ll see a lull in the activity as we move into Wednesday morning. Above is Tuesday’s storm zone and below is the ranking of the risks Green Country faces.
The highest chance of thunderstorms is now on Wednesday for most locations. The threat of severe weather may be a touch lower, however, with a less favorable vertical wind profile for severe weather. Nonetheless, the ingredients are in place for continued heavy rainfall and several instances of high winds, hail and perhaps tornadoes. With daytime heating in advance of a cold front, storms are expected to once again blossom over the area before they get a shove southeast by the front. That means another afternoon of heavy downpours and flash flooding at the very least. All of this activity should end by late Wednesday night. Below is our midweek storm timeline.
Another 1 to 3 inches of rain may fall through Thursday across Green Country, with the highest amounts likely happening in far eastern or southeastern Oklahoma. Any additional rain is bad. However, areas further southeast of Tulsa have a higher threshold for flash flooding since that area has been drier over the past few weeks. Below is a projection of rainfall through early Thursday.
Even beyond midweek, we’re not necessarily in the clear. We will have a few days of dry, mild weather though. Thursday and Friday’s weather will be essential in reducing the inflow of water into our reservoirs. As early as Saturday, more thunderstorms may try to edge into the area from the west. Late May and early June is known as MCS Season. An MCS is a mesoscale convective system, which is essentially a squall line followed by a large area of rain. Storms form to our northwest and are ushered east or southeast into our with the prevailing jet stream winds. The weather pattern into early next week supports these storms. Although it may not happen every day, we currently have a daily chance of unwanted rainfall. These additional storms looming on the horizon will further slow the recession of floodwater. Through the first week in June, only gradual improvement in our flood situation is expected. Hopefully, we’ll catch enough of a break to put us more at ease and not worsen the water levels beyond their current height.