Wouldn’t you know, the cloud cover that was supposed to hold temperatures down at least somewhat today set up several counties further north than expected and what a contrast in temperatures that created. Notice the maximum temperatures around the state today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, and the low 90s along the OK/KS state line in contrast to upper 90s just south of that. In fact, the Mesonet site at Hectorville actually made it to 100. Not only that, but those kind of temperatures together with dew point temperatures in the low 70s pushed heat index values above 105 and prompted heat advisories for this afternoon.
Here are the maximum heat index values today, again courtesy of the OK Mesonet. By the way, the official numbers for Tulsa today were 99/80 with a maximum heat index of 109. Also, the 80 this morning is a new record for warmest morning low on this date.
The heavier cloud cover just to our north is also where some heavy showers/storms have already occurred and are at least partially due to the remnants of what was hurricane Newton which has moved from the Pacific, across the southern Rockies, and is now moving across KS. Those remnants may yet cause additional showers/storms along the OK/KS state line tonight with the potential for localized flooding rains and also marginally severe wind gusts.
After that system moves on through, Friday will still be hot and humid with morning lows in the 70s and daytime highs back into the 90s along with a chance of scattered showers/storms during the day. But, temperatures are not expected to reach the extreme values of today. After Friday, we will get some much needed relief in the form of a cold front that will be pushing through the state Friday night and moving on out of the state by early Saturday morning. This boundary will also be a focus for widespread showers/storms, some of which could produce marginally severe wind gusts and localized heavy rainfall. The timing is also such that the second half of many of the high school football games may well be impacted by the storms as they roll across the state.
Have used the 3 day QPF map to show the potential for some locally heavy rainfall with this system. Keep in mind, this does not mean that everyone will receive that much rain; it is an areal average and some locations could receive much more while nearby locations receive very little. But, current data strongly suggests that just about everyone should receive at least some rainfall as the front pushes across the state.
As you can see on our forecast page, we can look forward to a very pleasant weekend as brisk northerly winds behind the cold front will bring drier, cooler air into the state. That means any leftover showers will be ending in the SE counties early that morning along with lots of sunshine through the afternoon hours. Daytime highs will be only near 80 Saturday afternoon and dew point temperatures will be dropping into the 50s and remaining there through Sunday. That will allow temperatures to drop into the 50s Sunday morning but the sunny skies and a return to a SE wind that afternoon should push daytime highs back into the low-mid 80s. At least that is below normal for a change; normal values at this time of year are 87/65 for the max/min.
A return to southerly winds will warm things back up early next week before another, weaker front arrives during the Tue/Wed time frame. That will bring another chance of showers/storms and another break in temperatures. But, this system looks to stall out keeping us with lingering cloud cover and chances of rain for the latter part of the week as well.
Looking further downstream, the 8-14 day outlook is now suggesting near normal temperatures and wetter than normal conditions. So, at least we are trending to more typical fall-like weather.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.