What a difference a day can make! Notice the 24 hour temperature change map as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Certainly some welcome relief from the heat of recent days although it will take awhile for the humidity to drop off to more reasonable levels.
The milder air actually arrived a little earlier than anticipated for most of us as you can see by the max/min temperature map. The far southern counties still had some triple digits but most other locations were much milder than recent days have been.
This milder air was also accompanied by showers and some thunder. However, the shower activity has struggled to maintain any semblance of organization and has mostly fallen apart late this evening. Here are the rainfall totals so far today and they have not been very impressive.
As we go through the rest of the night and for that matter the weekend, the most recent data runs have come in much drier than previous days were suggesting; notice the updated 3 day QPF. The exception will be over the more E and SE counties of the state and on into Arkansas where locally heavy rainfall remains a possibility. As a result, there will be a strong gradient in rainfall amounts with much of the state high and dry this weekend but the far eastern sections could easily pick up several inches going into next week. Right now, the I-44 corridor looks to be the demarcation line with little or no rain NW of that and increasing chances further to the SE. As a result, the Tulsa metro area will only have a chance of some scattered showers/storms going into next week as you can see on our forecast page. This is a major change to the more widespread, heavier activity the data runs were suggesting less than 24 hours ago.
At least the northerly winds we will have for Sat/Sun/Mon will bring drier, milder air this way giving us a nice break in the heat and humidity of the last couple of weeks. We have bumped up the daytime temperatures to near 90 for Saturday and Sunday as more sunshine is anticipated. But, with dew point temperatures dropping into the 60s, the heat index values will not be nearly as oppressive as yesterday for example.
Those lower dew points will also allow our nights to cool off a little more, depending on lingering cloud cover. We should be in the lower 70s to start the day Saturday and upper 60s to near 70 for the next few days after that. Going into next week, our winds will be returning to a southerly direction but even so, temperatures are expected to remain below the norms of 94/72 for this time of year.
We are also watching a disturbance aloft currently causing flooding problems in Louisiana which will try to retrograde a little further west before being ejected out to the NE. That system will be the main reason for the potential for heavy rains into Arkansas and possibly for the far E/SE counties of OK, but right now it does not appear it will make it far enough west to impact other locations.
Even so, we are keeping a slight chance of at least an isolated shower or storm through next week and into the following weekend. After that, the pattern aloft does not currently suggest a return to the dreaded heat dome of the last week or two and the 8-14 day guidance continues to support temperatures below normal and a greater than normal chance of precipitation. For August, that is welcome news indeed.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.