Summer is Over; Or Is It?


Wednesday, August 31st 2016, 8:15 pm
By: News On 6


Summer is over; or is it?  Depends on your perspective as the calendar says summer does not end till Sep 22 but from a climatological perspective, summer is considered to be the months of Jun-Aug.  So, how did the summer of 2016 turn out you ask.  Well, it turned out to be a hot, dry one with an average temperature that placed it 9th hottest on record and total rainfall that placed it as the 25th driest on record.  We have temperature records dating back to 1905 and precipitation records going back to 1888.  By the way, in spite of how warm the summer was on average, we had relatively few triple digit days; only 7 in fact and the average using the entire period of record is nearly twice that.  In case you are wondering, the all-time hottest summer on record for Tulsa was the summer of 1980 but the summer with the most triple digit days was the summer of 1936.

By the way, the month of September normally sees a pretty significant change as the normal max/min to start the month is 90/68 dropping to 78/56 by the end of the month.

Here are the rainfall totals over the last 90 days as maintained by the good folks at the OK Mesonet.  As you can see, there were some winners and some losers in that regard as summer-time showers and storms can be very localized. 

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That was also very evident again today with flooding rainfall in some places, such as the OKC area, but little or no rainfall for many other locations.  Some lingering showers/storms remain possible through the night tonight and into the day Thursday but the trend will be for all the activity to be shifting further southward with time.  As you can see on our forecast page, after Thursday our chances of any additional rainfall are pretty much in the slim to none category.

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A frontal boundary is pushing through the state this afternoon and evening and will be followed by drier air eventually arriving Thursday.  That means we will likely start the day with mostly cloudy skies and are not expected to start clearing out till late in the day.  Together with a brisk N/NE wind, that should keep our daytime temperatures in the low-mid 80s after starting the day near 70.

The drier air will be very noticeable for Fri/Sat with lots of sunshine both days but more importantly the dew points dropping into the 50s will allow our overnight lows to fall into the 50s to near 60 both mornings.  Although the sunny skies will produce a big rebound in daytime highs, low humidity levels will still keep it relatively pleasant outside.

However, by Sunday look for a return to stronger southerly winds which will continue into early next week.  That will bring the more humid air back over us which means warmer nights and uncomfortable humidity levels during the heat of the day.  In fact, heat index values may approach triple digits again for early next week. That means the Labor Day weekend will start off very pleasant on Saturday with cool mornings and comfortable humidity levels that afternoon, but much warmer and more humid conditions can be expected by Labor Day itself.

The return to above normal temperatures will continue deep into September as the 8-14 day outlook continues to suggest warmer than normal temperatures along with scattered showers/storms.  In spite of the trend to above normal temperatures over that time frame, triple digit air temperatures do not appear likely. I mention that because triple digits have occurred deep into the month of September, but do not see that happening just now.

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At any rate, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot