Hot and windy; that pretty well summarizes our day today with daytime temperatures in the 90s and gusty southerly winds at least providing some good ventilation. Although the wind keeps things from getting too stagnant, those winds also contribute to high evaporation rates which in some cases are exceeding 0.4” per day. It does not take long to dry things out with those kind of conditions and we could certainly use a good soaking rain.
Here are the max/min temperatures for today across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. As you can see, we are not cooling off much at night either and since the winds will not be calming down tonight, look for Tuesday morning to also get off to a relatively warm start. Also, daytime highs on Tuesday will be similar to today which together with dew points holding in the 70s means heat index values will be in triple digit territory once again. By way of comparison, the normal max/min for Tulsa at this time of year is 93/73 and so far today we have recorded 95/76.
As mentioned, it has been rather windy today; at least for this time of year as our summer months typically have rather light winds. At any rate, here are the maximum winds recorded today, again courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Don’t look for Tuesday to be much different in that regard either as southerly winds of 10-15 or more will continue through the overnight hours and then quickly back up to 15-25 or more during the daytime hours.
We have also had a few showers around the state today, but most of what has fallen has been very light and primarily over the more western counties. The main storm track remains well north of the state but we are on the southern fringe of the stronger winds aloft which has provided just enough support for those few showers that have managed to develop. You can see that on the upper level wind chart at the 18,000’ level where the colors represent where the strongest winds are at that level. That also correlates pretty well with the main storm track which again is well north of us.
However, we will continue to get some fringe activity in the days ahead with slight chances of showers and perhaps some thunder later tonight into the day Tuesday, again Tuesday night into the day Wed, and that pattern will repeat going into the latter part of the week. By Thursday night into the day Friday and Friday night into Saturday, the pattern looks to support at least a better chance for showers or storms so that currently looks to be our next best opportunity for rain as you can see on our forecast page.
As we head into the following week, that zonal flow or W-E wind pattern aloft is expected to start to transition to a more dominate upper level ridge. That is shown on the upper level wind chart for Tuesday morning of next week in which the ridge aloft is clearly building over the state. That is a pattern which will bring more heat and even fewer chances of rain. Also, it is typically a pattern in which we will have much lighter winds which means it will be rather stifling for outdoor activities next week.
Also, that is why the long range guidance strongly suggests much above normal temperatures along with little or no mention of showers/storms for the 8-14 day time frame. That means if we do not pick up some decent rains this week, the heat and dryness of the following week will likely result in our first triple digit temperatures of the year.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.