By October standards, this has certainly been a warm one with temperatures so far running more than 5 degrees above normal. In fact, the numbers for today here in Tulsa with a max/min of 81/51 as compared to the normal values of 71/48 help put things in perspective. Notice the max/min temperatures around the rest of the state also reflect the very warm afternoon temperatures after a relatively mild start. More about our temperature pattern in a moment.
Not only are we very warm, but we are also getting very dry once again with our precipitation totals running more than 9” below normal and almost 20” below where we were at this time last year. Of course, 2015 was one of the wettest years on record so being well below those numbers is not necessarily a bad thing. But, it is a problem when we are that far below where we ought to be. Here are the actual numbers through today - 2015: 45.19”; 2016: 25.48”; Normal value: 34.80”. In fact, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, here is the statewide departure from normal so far this year and it is not a pretty picture for Green Country.
And our prospects for a widespread, soaking rain are not very good. As you can see on the 7 day QPF map, there is the potential for around ½” of rain or so, but keep in mind that is an areal average and many locations will receive little or none at all and a few other locations could receive twice that much. By the way, that is all expected to occur on Wednesday and after that our rain chances are pretty much zip.
Tuesday will see another very warm day as temperatures tonight will not cool off much due to a SE breeze. Look for morning lows in the upper 50s to low 60s to start the day, but there should be more cloud cover as the day wears on holding our daytime highs to near 80. Again, much warmer than normal.
A weak system will then try to push through the state on Wednesday and that will be our best chance for showers and possibly some storms. The morning into the early afternoon hours look to be best and the more NE counties look to have the best chance. This is not a particularly cool system though and temperatures will continue well above normal through the day despite the extra cloud cover and the possibility of some rain cooled air.
After that, it is basically a temperature forecast as our rain chances appear to be non-existent through the rest of the forecast cycle. In fact, as you can see on our forecast page, temperatures will remain well above normal right on through Halloween which brings us to the end of the month. Given how warm we have been so far, and using the projected temperatures through Halloween; crunching the numbers places the month of October, 2016, as the 5th warmest in the historical record. Obviously, there may be some minor changes over the course of the coming week, but there is no chance we will take over the top spot which was 1963.
Not only is the coming week expected to remain much above normal but as you can see on the 8-14 day outlook, there continues to be a strong signal for above normal temperatures to continue 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 at least some hope for a more active pattern with some chance of showers and storms.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.