Needless to say, the weather this week has pulled some surprises and even though temperatures, on average, will be trending downward for the rest of the year, we obviously are still dealing with some late summer conditions. As an example, notice the max heat index values for today which topped out just above triple digits for some locations.
Actual air temperatures also topped out near triple digits; in fact, the Mesonet site near Talala did make it to 100 as you can see on the statewide max/min temperature map, courtesy of the good folks at the OK Mesonet.
One of the reasons why temperatures soared so much today was the abundant sunshine which was also related to drier air that mixed down from aloft. Quite frankly, was more than a little surprised at how much the dew point mixed out today as you can see by the 24 hour dew point temperature change map. For example, here in Tulsa the temperature/dew point combination at 1PM was 94/71 with a heat index of 102. By 4PM that same combination was 97/64 for a heat index of 99 along with a relative humidity that had dropped to 34%. The source of this drier air was a function of the rather gusty but more SW surface winds and the mostly sunny skies; the combination of which allowed drier air aloft to mix down to the surface. At least it did provide some relief from those miserable dew point values which had been in the mid 70s yesterday.
For tonight, those dew points will increase somewhat toward morning but generally fair skies should still allow temperatures to drop into the low-mid 70s. It would be somewhat cooler but our southerly winds are not expected to calm down completely and should remain in the 8-12 mph range through the overnight hours.
Thursday will see gusty southerly winds once again under fair to partly cloudy skies. But the winds will be more from the S to SE so therefore the dew points are not expected to mix out as much as was the case today. At any rate, look for afternoon highs back into the mid-upper 90s and heat index values near triple digits.
Thursday night into the day Friday will see more cloud cover as a weak frontal boundary sags into northern OK and stalls out. In fact, this boundary will likely become diffuse by later in the day Friday, but this combination should keep daytime highs near 90 along with a chance for scattered showers and storms as you can see on our forecast page. A few could be locally quite heavy, but as has been the case all month, those will be rather spotty.
After that, as we head on through the weekend and into next week we will continue to be on the fringe of a more active pattern further west of us which will keep at least a chance of showers/storms through the weekend and into the following week. Right now, it appears we will have enough cloud cover on any given day to keep daytime highs close to the 90 degree mark which is near normal for the time of year. Our nights will also be warm with morning temperatures only dropping to near 70, but with a more E to SE wind for much of next week, at least it does not appear that we will see a return to the near triple digits that we saw today.
Looking further ahead, the 8-14 day outlook continues to suggest temperatures averaging at or above normal and precipitation chances below normal. That gets us into early September and suggests we are not through with summer just yet. Even so, triple digit air temperatures are not foreseen during that time frame.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.