At least a few locations received some decent rainfall today as those showers and storms rolled through from morning into the afternoon hours. Notice the 24 hour rainfall totals, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Radar estimates suggest as much as 3” of rainfall, but those heavier totals were very spotty and most of us were under ½” or so. Officially for Tulsa, the airport measured 0.39”.
At least for NE OK the clouds and rain cooled air held temperatures somewhat in check. Notice the 70s here in Green Country which is certainly cooler than the last few days but is still above normal for this time of year. In fact, the max/min today was 73/64 as compared to the normal values of 70/48 for Tulsa.
By the way, the actual cool front has not yet made it through NE OK and will only slowly work its way on eastward tonight before stalling out and becoming diffuse. The showers/storms earlier in the day were the result of a squall line which is now exiting the state. That system is taking any threat of additional rains with it so that even though the actual front has not arrived, it is not expected to produce any more rainfall. In fact, we expect gradually clearing skies for the overnight hours along with a light wind, becoming more NE towards morning. The clearing skies, moisture from today’s rains, and light winds will likely result in at least some fog for the late night and early morning hours.
Starting Thursday and extending right on through the weekend and into early next week will be a quiet pattern with no mention of rainfall and continued much above normal temperatures. There will be some clouds drifting overhead from time to time, particularly some high level cirrus clouds to hold our daytime highs somewhat in check. By and large though, temperatures will remain much above normal as mentioned.
For example, although Thursday morning will get off to a cooler start, we will still be warmer than normal with minimum temperatures ranging from the upper 40s in rural locations to mid 50s in the urban environment. Lots of sunshine and a light NE/E/SE breeze during the day will result in afternoon highs in the upper 70s to near 80.
Friday could set records as the max temperature record is 86 and that is what we are currently forecasting as you can see on our forecast page. The records for the weekend are around 90 and we currently do not anticipate being quite that warm, but will still be 15 degrees or so above normal during the day as well as at night. That will also apply to Halloween.
The reason for such warm weather at this time of year is related to the wind flow aloft. This map shows the forecast winds at approximately 18,000’ or the 500 mb level valid for Wednesday morning of next week. Notice the general flow is from W-E across the continental U.S. This is what we refer to as a zonal wind flow with not much amplitude, or not much of a N/S component. That tends to keep the really cold air bottled up in the far northern latitudes with only weaker, milder systems occasionally making it this far south.
That pattern looks to persist beyond the coming week as the 8-14 day outlook continues to have a strong signal for above normal temperatures well into November. This would suggest daytime highs continuing well into the 70s as our normal highs by then are in the mid 60s. At least the 8-14 day outlook does have some hope for a more active pattern with a chance of showers and storms.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.