Sweltering Heat & Storms to Close Out August


Monday, August 27th 2018, 7:00 pm
By: News On 6


Summer heat is back in full force. We’re not talking triple-digit highs, but the heat index is above the century mark most afternoons now. When you combine the amount of moisture we typically see in late spring with an August air mass, you get a sky-high muggy factor. Midweek storms may take the edge off the heat, but summer shows no significant signs of letting go anytime soon.

Oklahoma sits at the edge of a summer-time heat ridge with a lot of moisture to go with it. That keeps our morning lows from dipping much below 80°. (Remember it was just a week ago when our HIGH temperature was 80°?)  Daily highs are running about 5° above normal as well.  By Tuesday night, a wave in the jet stream will cut into the Plains and send a cold front down into far northern Oklahoma.  Storms will fire along this boundary and start heading into our viewing area around midnight.  That means we won’t avoid the heat Tuesday, but wet weather becomes likely thereafter.

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Wednesday into Thursday morning will be the prime time for rain and storms in Green Country. Above is our latest rain chance timeline through midweek. As is usually the case in summer, these storms could be heavy with locally damaging winds and some hail starting early Wednesday. Below is a look at those individual threats. That frontal boundary will be the main trigger for these storms as it slowly sags southward on Wednesday and lifts back to the north by Thursday morning.  Several rounds of storms may flare through that stretch of time, leaving some of us with an extra inch of rainfall by the end of Thursday. That might leave Tulsa with nearly half a foot of rain for August, over 3” above normal for the month. 

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As we move into the holiday weekend, the heat will rise back to our current levels. If your Labor Day plans include a pool, lake or A/C, you’ll be in good shape!  We can’t rule out a few more storms Saturday and Sunday with another storm system sliding across the Plains, but so far it looks like most of the storms stay north of the state. Just don’t ignore heat safety. Even though we are more acclimated to these readings, a heat index above 100° still can take a serious toll if we aren’t hydrated or taking proper breaks outside. You know the drill.

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Despite our temperature trends, we are nearly to the September slide. It’s the month fall gently makes its first appearance in the state. By the end of the month, Tulsa’s average high is in the 70s.  While summer heat isn’t a thing of the past, the days in which we instantly sweat become few and far between.  Yes, we are almost there, but no, there are few signs of that first good autumn cold front showing up yet. The outlook through the 10th of September shows above-normal readings throughout most of the U.S. At least we’ll see a potential uptick in rain chances, helping to curb drought over northeast Oklahoma even further. Another 4” to 5” of rain at Tulsa International Airport and we officially can eliminate or year-to-date rainfall deficit.

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Until we actually start to head down that September slide toward cooler days, enjoy what remains of our summer! Stay weather aware midweek and have a great and safe holiday weekend. For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and like my Facebook Page.