Ugh….that pretty well sums up today as temperatures topped out at triple digits for many locations, but the combination of heat and humidity made it feel like it was 110 or more. Officially, the max/min and the maximum heat index value for Tulsa topped out at 100/80 and 111 respectively. To put things in perspective, the normal max/min for Tulsa at this time of year is 94/72 and the record for this date is 114 set back in 1936. In other words, those miserable heat index values were close to the actual air temperature record for today. Here are the maximum heat index values for the rest of the state followed by the actual max/min air temperatures for today; courtesy of the folks at the OK Mesonet.
Fortunately, only one more day before the much anticipated cool front arrives later on Friday bringing relief from the heat/humidity and some showers/storms. The latest/greatest data runs now suggest the front should be moving through the Tulsa area shortly after the noon hour with S to SW winds ahead of the front shifting to northerly behind it. The front will continue to march on SE eventually making it through the state by Saturday morning and stalling out just south of the Red River area.
That means temperatures will once again start off very warm on Friday with upper 70s to near 80 to start the day. We should also have fair to partly cloudy overnight skies and a light SE breeze so viewing conditions for the Perseid meteor shower which is supposed to peak tonight should be good.
Temperatures ahead of the front during the day Friday will be soaring into the upper 90s to around 100 with heat index values well in excess of triple digits once again. Behind the front, a more N to NE wind, mostly cloudy skies, and a chance of showers/storms should drop temperatures into the 80s by late in the day and even cooler if you happen to be under one of the storms. The best chance of rain still looks to be during the overnight hours and into the day Saturday and after that, it is a question of exactly where the boundary stalls out. The most recent data runs now suggest the front will make it a little further south than first thought which would keep the heavier, more widespread rainfall more into SE OK and Ark for the balance of the day Saturday and into the day Sunday.
However, it will be a sharp gradient in where the rains occur and it could easily shift a little further south or north so will maintain at least a chance of showers/storms for much of the viewing area for Saturday and Sunday. Keep in mind, there could be some locally heavy amounts due to the potential for training to take place; that is storms repeatedly passing over the same general location. As you can see on the 7 day QPF, the guidance continues to suggest the potential for a good soaking if not some flooding concerns in some areas.
With the position of the boundary in question going into early next week, will maintain at least a slight chance of a shower or storm at least through early next week. More importantly, the cooler air brought in by the cool front will provide a nice break in the heat as you can see on our forecast page for the weekend into next week.
Fortunately, 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.