A well-timed cold front is coming into Green Country as we close out Labor Day Weekend. This will bring our summertime heat to a halt as gusty north winds bring cooler, drier air early Tuesday morning. This will give us our first good and prolonged taste of fall. We can now definitively say the worst of summer heat is behind us. I’m sure we’ll see more hot days in the coming month, but not in the near future.
This cold front is lacking moisture as it races into Oklahoma. Combined with the lack of overnight and morning instability upon arrival, showers are likely to be few and far between. In any case, more cloud cover and the gusty north winds will greet us all Tuesday. We’ll notice the difference by Tuesday afternoon when, instead of warming into the 90s, our readings barely top 80°. Crisp, autumn air will be in the offing by Wednesday and Thursday mornings when temperatures bottom out near 50°. Are your jackets on hand?
This temperature tumble will end midweek as those readings level out. We’ll enjoy a series of cool nights and mild-to-warm days. Nothing over 85° is expected through the weekend. This cool-down is thanks to a deep trough forming in the eastern U.S. It will be parked there for several days allowing that refreshing air to continue to spill into the area. The heat ridge remains parked out west and will have trouble moving back into the Plains following the surge of cool air.
We might inadvertently see the cooler air reinforced even next week thanks to the other big weather story of the week: Hurricane Irma. It’s currently a powerful Category 4 hurricane making a B-line for the northern Caribbean. After it scrapes by the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, it’ll near the Bahamas and Cuba late this week. From there, many of our computer models paint a harrowing picture for Florida. It’s likely Irma will get latched to that deep trough in the East and move northward along or near the peninsula and further into the U.S. from there. This is many days out and the forecast path for Irma has varied greatly already. There’s even a chance Irma could head into the Gulf of Mexico. Greater confidence lies in its continued intensity. After a drought of major hurricanes, we could end up with 2 Category 4 landfalls in the U.S. within a month.
Closer to home, Irma’s impact on Oklahoma is a bit uncertain. If anything, it’ll induce a northerly wind early next week and delay any increase in heat and moisture. If it takes a path further west, our direct or indirect impacts are likely a bit greater. We’ll be watching this closely in any case!
Into mid-September, our steady-state pattern likely continues with cooler and drier than normal weather as shown below. After such a wet August, we are really starting to dry out.