A summer weather pattern is fully in place, and it’s the kind that brings pop-up thunderstorms to Green Country like clockwork each day. After such a wet stretch (June was the 22nd wettest in Tulsa on record), our muggy air mass is enough to fuel afternoon thunderstorms with any trigger whatsoever. Unless the CAP (warm air aloft) wins out, our rain chances will likely continue. In many cases, wet weather begets more wet weather. That is the case for the upcoming week and perhaps the whole month ahead.
Starting on our Monday afternoon, more garden-variety thundershowers have formed with slow movement northwestward. The unusual storm motion is thanks to a weak upper-level low sitting to our south. As it drifts northward into the area on Tuesday, more widespread showers and storms are likely, even before peak heating Tuesday morning. Several rounds of thunderstorms are possible for the day ahead. Given the lack of meaningful wind shear, these storms are not likely to get too carried away. The worst they would bring would be locally strong winds and torrential downpours. Small hail is also possible. By Wednesday, that low pressure air starts to drift away limiting our rain chances. Above is our midweek rain chance timeline.
By the time we get to the Fourth, another weak impulse sliding east into the area may generate more widely scattered thundershowers. Fortunately, any downpour that day would not last long and likely dissipate before our fireworks displays that evening. In fact, our Independence Day will be fairly pleasant compared to previous ones. Our heat index should stay at or below the century mark and we will have just enough of a breeze to bring refreshment. By evening, temperatures should drop into the lower 80s. Above is that evening outlook for Thursday.
Late in the week, the weak waves of energy pass to our east, but the jet stream drops further south. This will send the storm track and associated frontal boundary closer to us for the weekend. Above is the transitioning weather pattern late this week. Ahead of it, temperatures will creep upward and so will the heat index. It may feel like 100° to 105° starting midweek and lasting through the weekend. That heat trend is shown below.
The most widespread rainfall may hold off until the weekend when that frontal boundary may get just enough of a push to stall out in Oklahoma. Saturday evening through Sunday look potentially very wet at times. Keep that in mind if you are extending the holiday outdoor plans through the weekend. It will, however, take the edge off the building heat by Sunday.
The weather pattern over the weekend may get repeated several times over the course of July as long -range models are showing. This will amount to the outlook projections you see below for this month – wetter AND cooler than normal overall. The downside to this pattern is the potential for additional flooding and relentlessly high humidity. However, with all this ambient moisture around, it will take a serious ridge in the jet stream to allow for triple-digit heat to build into our region. It could happen at the end of the month or into August, but for now, I don’t see anything that hot coming our way!