The next 10 days tend to be the hottest of the year for Tulsa. However, 2019 is likely to bring a nice break from the worst of the heat in that stretch. The jet stream is kicking out several waves of energy that will bring widespread rain and thunder to the region. The active weather begins tonight.
Here’s the Big Picture: a large ridge of high pressure is dominating the western United States. Around its periphery is the jet stream. That puts Oklahoma beneath northerly flow which is becoming more “energetic” in the coming days. That pattern is shown above. Several waves of energy will pass around our side of the ridge sending rounds of rain and thunderstorms to our area. One weak wave has already brought showers to far northeast Oklahoma. Another wave will arrive tonight, sending some showers and storms southward into eastern parts of Green Country. The stronger wave or two will arrive Friday into Saturday with a slightly more westward path, putting Tulsa squarely in line for one or more clusters of storms. Below is the rain chance timeline into the weekend.
The severe weather risk is limited, but we’ll be watching for high winds in any organized storm complex diving southward. As Oklahoma has largely dried out over the month of July, this rainfall will be manageable if not welcome to our area. It will help keep Green Country “green” through the dead of summer. Amounts appear light through Thursday, but rainfall between Friday and Saturday may exceed an inch over a broad range of the area, especially east of Tulsa. Below is the general projection of those totals through the weekend. The expected rainfall should help Tulsa keep pace in the race for the wettest year on record. It is unlikely we will outdo 1973, but we are ahead of most of the pack. In fact, Tulsa is within 3 inches of our ANNUAL average precipitation… with 5 months left to go in the year!
Showers will taper off Sunday and a brief window of drier air is expected before the “muggies” return. In about a week, temperatures may creep back into the mid to upper 90s for highs. As the ridge of high pressure strengthens back over our area, we could even finally hit the 100° for the first time this year. That heat wave will last several days before another cold front may sweep into the area mid-August. This is about the one time of year where I can make longer range projections with slightly higher confidence. The outlook into mid-August calls for warmer than average temperatures in the area. For the month overall though, it should equal out to nearly average. In fact, above normal rainfall is projected as also shown below.
The Tropics will also be heating up this month. By next week, we’ll likely have a named Tropical Storm brushing across the northern Caribbean. In the Pacific, two hurricanes will be brushing by Hawaii over the next week. Keep that in mind if you are vacationing there soon!
Enjoy the cooler, wetter spell for the end of this week! This is a rare mid-summer treat as we enter our hottest month of the year. Just remain weather aware, especially as we head into the weekend with a higher storm threat than usual for early August. For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page!