We traded in the furnace for the sauna. Now that daily showers and storms have entered the picture for the week, temperatures have taken a dip, but humidity has swelled in response. It’s a trade-off we get in the middle of summer. Fortunately, we have been in need of some rain with moderate drought splotching the map across eastern Oklahoma as seen below in our most recent Drought Monitor update from last week. This wetter and slightly cooler pattern will last for a bit before we revert back to the dreaded “Heat Dome.”
Since the weekend, showers and storms have dotted our radar. Given the very weak winds aloft (as is often the case this time of year), the thundershowers build up and collapse within about 10 miles of a given spot. Due to all of the moisture in our atmosphere, these are significant downpours, filling some rain gauges up with more than an inch of rain in an hour. However, their slow movement keeps many neighboring locations high and dry. That is why rainfall reports are so erratic below.
If you haven’t received a healthy downpour, there is still ample opportunity for a good watering. While these daily downpours often pop-up at random along ill-defined boundaries, the storms in our forecast later this week may be more wide-reaching. As the jet stream dips further into our area, it will promote faster movement of rain. This northwesterly flow will take storms upstream and help organize them into a complex that will dive into Oklahoma with the potential for high winds and a large swath of rain. After a relatively quiet day ahead on Thursday (outside of a smattering of thundershowers in the afternoon), our first MCS (Mesoscale Convective Complex) is likely to arrive Thursday night into Friday morning. The track and intensity of it is a bit uncertain, but this could soak the ground nicely and cool the air for Friday as well. Areas from Tulsa northward have the best chance of seeing that rain. See the forecast map below.
A similar storm may unfold Friday night into Saturday morning as well. The main risk will once again be some gusty winds and localized flash flooding. A few daily storms may flare up in addition to these potential complexes, but they probably won’t last nearly as long. By Sunday, the rain chances become limited as the high pressure dome edges the storm track eastward. Parts of the area may still end up with a few showers in the latter half of the weekend. The rest of us will feel the heat cranked up a few notches. Before the heat takes full control again, we may end up with rainfall totals shown below.
As we enter August, and our traditionally two hottest weeks of the year, above-normal temperatures will be the main story. That high pressure ridge we call the “Heat Dome” will become established over the region, putting us squarely in the hot, dry bubble. Above-normal temperatures this time of year often means triple-digit temperatures. Recent rainfall will keep the muggy factor up as well so that dry August heat may get put on hold until further notice. Like I said before, rainfall this time of year is usually a double-edged sword. In any case, hopefully you end up with a good soaking rainfall while the pattern supports it. We might be wishing for even cloud cover by this point next week!