Mid-Summer Heat Wave Upon Us

Sunday, July 17th 2016, 10:42 pm
By: News On 6

Following Thursday’s powerful round of thunderstorms with hurricane-force winds, it is nice to have a quiet stretch of weather to regroup and clean up the mess. However, another type of dangerous weather is developing. It’s that silent and perennial threat of oppressive heat.  Unfortunately, much-needed rain in the middle of summer has the consequence of higher humidity. That added moisture combined with the development of a “death ridge” in the jet stream is the recipe for heat index values that quickly can pose a health risk.  For us all, it pretty much means instant sweat in the week ahead.


                This is a common weather pattern in the summer and the “death ridge” terminology certainly is bit too morose. However, it’s called that because the ridge in the jet stream, pushing the active storm pattern way to our north, kills any chance of heat relief by way of cold fronts, pop-up thunderstorms and sometimes even cloud cover.  Plain and simple, we bake under that hot summer sun day in and day out.

                Due to the recent rainfall, it will take several days before we dry out enough to see those readings climb into triple-digit territory. However, the heat index already has been and will continue to be there each afternoon for at least the next week.  Below is the week’s projection of maximum heat index values.


                A *few* of us could see minor relief Tuesday afternoon as a weak wave of energy may generate isolated thunderstorms, mainly over far eastern and southeastern Oklahoma. Aside from a few more clouds that day, the week will feature a monotony of increasingly hot days and muggy nights.  Actual temperatures may peak in the 100° to 103° range by late in the week. Surprisingly enough, this will be our first time to hit the century mark this year. It’s really just a technicality though since we have hit 99° a few times with heat index values topping 110° in the worst of that June heat wave.

                Needless to say, this is nothing particularly new this year, but nothing to take too lightly either. Be safe in the heat and plan outdoor activities out of direct sunlight in the middle of the day when possible.

                Unfortunately, the extended computer model guidance doesn’t change the pattern all that much. The upper ridge may break down a bit, but aside from a fleeting rain or storm chance, the above-average temperature pattern is likely through the end of the month.  Settle in for some sweltering July weather and find your favorite way to stay cool!


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