We enjoyed a nice reprieve from extreme mugginess over the weekend. Coupled with cooler than normal air, we’ve been given a nice treat here at the start of summer. However, summer heat is building back this week and the humidity will rise as well. That increase in moisture will eventually lead to late week storm chances that might have an impact on the start of your holiday weekend.
Low rain chances are with us tonight as a weak upper-level impulse slides southeast over the area. Given the lack of surface moisture and overall instability, any thundershowers that develop north of us will weaken as they push past the Oklahoma-Kansas border after sunset. Still, a few of us may end up with a brief downpour between now and Tuesday.
If you’ve paid attention to the national weather, you know the main headline recently has been extreme heat over the Desert Southwest. It continues this week, but expands a bit further east into our area. Being at the fringe of this heat ridge, our temperatures won’t climb to unseasonable levels. By Wednesday and Thursday, our heat index could be approaching the century mark so you’ll want to find a nice way to stay cool. Nothing atypical about this by this point in the year!
Late in the week, a series of waves traverse the West and break down that ridge a bit (shown above). Initially the storm track will be north of us in Kansas. By Thursday morning and especially Friday morning, those continued east-to-west moving disturbances will force a cold front south towards our area. It’s along that boundary where storms are likely late in the week, fueled by that building heat and humidity in our area. We can’t rule out severe weather by Friday, but the main issue might be extremely heavy downpours. This would be welcome news given the measly inch and half of rainfall the Tulsa area has seen in the past 4 weeks. The timing doesn’t bode well for those kicking off the 4th of July holiday early this weekend though.
As is often the case in the summer, once a cold front manages to make it far enough south to reach us, it doesn’t go much further thanks to a northerly displaced jet stream and storm track. Therefore, that boundary will stall out in our area for at least a day or two, allowing for a continued focus for rain and storms this weekend. I doubt the weekend will be a total washout, but several rounds of unsettled weather will likely impact us through Sunday. I wouldn’t change any outdoor plans yet, but have a back-up plan in mind in case Mother Nature decides to act up at the wrong time. Below, you’ll see projected rainfall for our area over the next week. This will help to curb a borderline drought situation developing in parts of Oklahoma, hopefully.
Eventually, it looks like the heat ridge will build back into early next week, forcing the storm track back to the north of us again. However, there is some disagreement in the computer models when that happens. If I were a betting man, I’d say we are high and dry by the 4th, but there’s still a chance we’ll see some of Mother Nature’s fireworks nearby that day as well. It looks like it’ll be a muggy holiday either way, as is often the case. The Outlook below shows we won’t be alone in the hotter than normal weather. Let’s just hope we can see some real deal wet weather out of our late week system before rainfall gets even more scarce as we head into the heart of the summer.