Summer Hangs On in Oklahoma


Monday, September 18th 2017, 11:40 pm
By: News On 6


After nearly a month with no substantial rainfall, Sunday brought much-needed downpours to the area. Officially, Tulsa only saw half an inch of rain, but other parts of the area received over an inch. The storm totals are shown below. At the very least, this will help to stall the browning process of our landscape and settle the dust for a few days.

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Unfortunately, for those getting lured by those cooler days of yore (much of August and early September), there is no really break from the summer pattern for a while. In fact, it seems as though August and September have reversed their roles. In August, 25 days had below normal temperatures in Tulsa. So far in September, half of the days have now been warmer than normal and we continue to trend that direction. A broad area of high pressure aloft is to thank for this renewed summer pattern. A deep trough in the jet stream is essentially blocked from moving eastward from the Rocky Mountain West. That would bring a cooler, more unsettled pattern. Instead, we’ve got at least 5 more days of summertime warmth, humidity and south winds. Even as a cold front edges our direction midweek, warmer temperatures aloft (the CAP) will limit any storm development nearby.

Thus, we are forecasting high temperatures at least 10 degrees above normal for the rest of this week with near-record warm low readings in the mornings thanks to added moisture in the air limiting our nighttime drop. In other words, you can keep that jacket packed away for at least another week.

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Changes are likely starting early next week in the state. That big trough to our west shifts east enough to bring the focus for rain into Green Country. The actual cold front may not actually pass through the region until as late as midweek NEXT week, but we could see a substantial drop in readings by that point. That transition may also allow for several days of wet and stormy weather, curbing the flash drought in development over the northern half our state. So, nearing the end of the month, we can count on a cooler AND wetter than normal conditions. That’ll be quite the change from our current set-up! However, as we officially welcome the fall season on Friday, there won’t be much indication of it quite yet. The outlooks below show the more fall-like conditions that return as we begin the Tulsa State Fair and transition to the month of October.

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The other big focus is still on the Tropics. As of Monday evening, Hurricane Jose and Category 5 Hurricane Maria are both spiraling through various parts of the Atlantic Ocean. Jose will continue it’s crawl northward closer to New England, bringing tropical storm force winds to the southern New England coastline and very rough seas. This storm is already 2 weeks old and likely has another week left to go as it may stall out to the southeast of New England by the weekend. Maria is a much bigger menace, making its first landfall with 160mph winds on the island of Dominica. Its path takes it up toward the already-battered Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, adding major insult to injury following Irma’s damage. From there, it likely takes a turn north, but whether or not it is steered into the East Coast or not is still uncertain. In any case, this is turning out to be quite the devastating hurricane season, which is still far from over.

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For more Oklahoma weather and tropical updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.