Ozone Alert Wednesday

Wednesday, August 1st 2018, 4:05 am
By: Alan Crone

The current upper air pattern of a ridge in the west and trough in the east will remain for another 36 hours before more mid-level ridging expands back into the central and southern plains.  This will eventually bring warmer weather into the state with highs nearing normal this weekend and above seasonal averages into next week.  Some operational data bring us closer to 100 by the middle of next week while ensembles keep us in the mid to upper 90s.  A few showers or storms may brush far southwestern Oklahoma later tonight into Thursday morning.  This will remain well west of our region.

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The only controversy so far remains the difference in the data for the weekend.  The EURO continues to offer a few showers and storms near or northwest of the area while its American counterpart ( GFS) keeps the precip away.  Both sets attempt to bring a short-wave disturbance across the northern periphery of the ridge.  Basically, the resulting difference in the data is more noticeable in the temps-clouds for eastern Oklahoma with only a slight scenario that we would need to add a few showers or storms into the forecast.   We have elected to stay the course with the dry conditions at this point with the increasing numbers into the weekend.

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It’s also interesting to note that once again later next week both sets retrograde the ridge westward and create another northwest flow by the 2nd half of next week.  Before this occurs, the temps and humidity will be increasing into the middle of next week before the pattern would bring us a chance for storms. 

Temps this morning are very cool for early August standards.  Our August 1st, 30-year average low for the metro is 73 degrees.  Most locations across northern Oklahoma will start in the lower 60s with a few valley spots in the upper 50s this morning along with the potential for some patchy for a few folks.  Light winds and sunshine should allow temps to warm into the upper 80s to near 90 this afternoon across eastern Oklahoma while locations along and west of I-35 will be slightly higher.  Southwestern Oklahoma will be the hot spot across the state today with afternoon highs in the mid-90s.   Due to the expectation of light winds and abundant sunshine (and other factors) an Ozone Alert has been issued for the Tulsa metro today.   The following is information posted at NWS regarding the Ozone Alert.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality has issued an Ozone Alert for Wednesday, for the Tulsa metropolitan area.

An ozone alert means that conditions are favorable for the buildup of ozone near the ground, to an unhealthy level.  When winds are light, the vapors from fuels such as gasoline, exhaust from engines, and air pollutants from industrial activities remain trapped near the ground. If sunshine is abundant when these air pollutants build up, a chemical process is triggered that results in the development of ozone near the ground during the afternoon and evening hours. While ozone in the upper levels of the atmosphere is beneficial in screening the suns radiation, it is harmful near the ground. Ozone can bother those with respiratory problems and can damage vegetation.

Thanks for reading the Wednesday morning weather discussion and blog.