Year to Date and a Look Ahead.


Wednesday, May 31st 2017, 7:48 pm
By: News On 6


From a climatological standpoint, summer starts tomorrow despite what the calendar says.  Fortunately, we are going into the summer with plenty of moisture in the soil after the wettest April on record and a May that has been more than an inch wetter than normal; May is normally the wettest month of the year anyway.  In fact, the year to date rainfall totals have NE OK as the 4th wettest on record.

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As for temperatures, this May is the first month of 2017 that will go down as cooler than normal; not by much but compared to how the rest of the year has gone that is noteworthy.  As you can see, you have to go back to Dec for the last time we had a month that was cooler than normal.  By the way, the year to date is now running as the third warmest on record, behind only 2012 and 2006..

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As for the coming Summer, the general consensus of the various long range outlooks is for this Summer to average at or a little warmer than normal and at or a little wetter than normal.  As always, there are some wild cards involved that could change those expectations considerably, not the least of which is whether or not an El Nino develops in the Pacific Ocean this summer.  So far, the trends suggest neutral or very weak El Nino conditions and that is what the summer outlook is based on. 

Back to the short range and that is our storm chances and temperatures over the next few days.  Storms up in KS this afternoon may linger into the early night time hours and have at least some impact for our more northern counties.  As the night wears on, that activity will weaken but will leave us with partly cloudy skies and a possible repeat performance on Thursday.  Our winds will remain from a SE direction so temperatures will only drop into the mid-upper 60s for the next few nights.  Daytime highs will be close to 90 again tomorrow, but more cloud cover and better chances of showers/storms will knock down our daytime highs starting on Friday.

In fact, the pattern for the Fri/Sat time frame looks very unsettled with several waves of energy aloft moving across the state producing widespread showers/storms for Friday afternoon, through Friday night, and much of the day Saturday.  There may be some lingering showers into the morning hours of Sunday, but the pattern is currently expected to become more stable going into early next week.  Although a few isolated reports of severe wind/hail may occur, this pattern does not currently look to support anything more than just that, isolated damaging wind/hail occurrences.  However, the potential will exist for some locally heavy rainfall as you can see on the QPF valid through this coming Saturday which suggests an inch or more of rain will be possible.  Keep in mind, this is an areal average and some locations could receive much more and if it should fall in a short period of time, there could easily be some local drainage issues.

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After that, a more amplified pattern aloft supports a cool front moving through and northerly winds at the surface and aloft which in turn will bring somewhat cooler air back our way.  As you can see on our forecast page, temperatures will be relatively mild through early next week and the pattern looks to be more stable by then as well..

In fact, the more amplified pattern aloft may well persist well into the 8-14 day period which is suggesting a trend to somewhat below normal temperatures and more scattered showers/storms as we go deeper into June.  

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So, stay tuned for updates.

Dick Faurot