This may seem a little strange after the wettest April on record and a wetter than normal May, but some locations are starting to get rather dry due to the lack of rain in recent weeks. Notice the 14 day rainfall across the state, courtesy of the good folks at the OK Mesonet. As you can see, there have been some generous rains in some locations but very little in others over that two week period.
And with the very warm temperatures that are forecast in the coming week along with increasing southerly winds, evaporation rates will be rather high which will contribute to the drying of our soils. Obviously, there is still plenty of water in our lakes and rivers as you can see here and it will be awhile before they return to some semblance of normalcy.
Although a return to above normal temperatures is in the forecast, we have certainly enjoyed a couple of days of relatively mild conditions. Notice the max/min values across the state so far today and those 50s during the morning hours certainly made for a pleasant start to the day. They are also indicative of the very dry air that is currently in place as evidenced by dew points running in the 50s and a minimum relative humidity level in the low 30% range during the heat of the day. For Tulsa, the max/min has been 86/56 as compared to the normal values of 86/66.
SE winds and partly cloudy skies will make for a warmer start to our day on Friday as temperatures will not be falling off as quickly and an area of showers to our west will produce a little more cloud cover. As a result, look for temperatures to start the day in the lower 60s, still below normal and still rather pleasant for this time of year. As we go through the day Friday we will have a mix of sun and clouds and perhaps even a few left over morning showers for the more western counties. Even so, look for daytime highs to reach the mid-upper 80s so at or a bit above normal. We will also have stronger southerly winds which will be stronger yet for the coming weekend.
That means even warmer temperatures for the weekend going into next week as you can see on our forecast page. There is also little or no mention of rain through the weekend and into next week as ridging aloft will keep a lid on our shower chances. However, the low level moisture will be on the increase due to those gusty southerly winds and that will make for much warmer nights, higher humidity levels during the day, and therefore the discomfort level will be on the rise due to the combination of heat and humidity. Look for daytime highs to be around the 90 degree mark if not the low 90s going into next week but with dew points rising into the upper 60s if not near 70 then the heat index will become more of an issue.
Eventually, the pattern aloft will undergo some changes leading to a more unsettled pattern for late next week with at least scattered showers/storms by then. There may even be some locally heavy storms and a threat of severe weather, but it is much too early to speculate on those possibilities other than to say that at least we will be seeing a better chance of rain toward the end of the 7 day forecast cycle. In fact, the 7 day QPF is starting to pick up on a little wetter signal for later next week as well.
Also, the 8-14 day outlook suggests a better than normal chance of showers/storms for late next week and through the following weekend, and we could certainly use some good rains by then. It also suggests temperatures will average near normal through that time period. By then, our normal daytime highs are in the upper 80s to near 90 anyway.
So, stay tuned for updates.