The heat isn’t what it was at the end of last week. I don’t think many people appreciate a 106° high with a heat index into the blistering 110s. We had the brutal collision of August-like heat with spring-like humidity. The moisture has drained away from our atmosphere so days like today in the 90s actually feel like… the 90s! We are stair-stepping down toward even cooler days ahead with a significant shift in our weather pattern. This means daily storm chances and temperatures running at least 10° below normal.
It all comes down to the heat ridge shifting west. From Washington state down to California and over to New Mexico, record-breaking heat is expected. It’s the same culprit from our heat wave last week. It’s ever-present in mid-summer, but as it shifts, our temperatures can vary a decent amount. In this case, as shown above, the westward shift causes the jet stream to drop south and bring us wave after wave of energy. This will lead to a multi-day stretch of storm chances starting Thursday.
The daily timing is not nailed down, but most of our computer models point toward more widespread morning rainfall than afternoon or evening. This could limit the severity of these storms given the cooler time of day, but any re-firing of storms in afternoon heating is possible. The rain chances will steadily increase into the weekend with the arrival of stronger waves and a much-anticipated cold front. Sunday and/or Monday could be wet enough for temperatures held into the 70s most of the day. The potential is high for a rain-out of some outdoor events.
Rain totals between now and Monday will be quite beneficial. Tulsa is at its maximum rainfall deficit for the year at over 7”. Considering that and northeast Oklahoma’s severe drought status, this is especially good news. Above is a computer model depiction of rainfall. The rain chances will finally sweep away Sunday into Monday with a final push of the cold front.
In the wake of the front will come the nicest weather you can ask for this time of year. Check out the map above. There is high confidence that the beginning of August will be substantially cooler than average. Normally, early August is our hottest time of year in Tulsa so this comes as very welcome news as well. Get ready for highs in the 80s starting the weekend and lows well down into the lower 60s as drier air arrives behind the cold front.
Eventually the heat ridge will build back our direction, but the next 9 days offer near or below-normal readings. And following that, we’ll be down to about one more month of potential triple-digit readings before the effects of fall start to be noticed. Time flies, doesn’t it?