Yesterday’s blog dealt with the weekend rainfall and how that has left behind an extensive footprint of relatively wetter soils which usually leads to higher dew point values, or the amount of moisture in the air. That, in turn, has a direct bearing on the discomfort level due to the combination of heat and humidity. Notice that the good folks at the NWS offices have upgraded the heat advisory to heat warning criteria for some locations Wednesday. The location of the heat warnings is largely where the heavier rains fell in the more northern counties as well as into KS and therefore where the dew point values will likely be the highest.
Speaking of the dew point temperature, here are the values as of late this afternoon. Fortunately, we have had some rather gusty southerly winds which have helped mix down somewhat drier air aloft this afternoon as earlier in the day those numbers were pretty much in the upper 70s across the board.
Now, here are the maximum heat index values recorded so far today across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. A heat index above 105 triggers the heat advisory and when it is expected to reach or exceed 110, then heat warnings are issued.
Compare those numbers with the actual max/min temperatures for today and it is apparent that the humidity certainly made it feel much more uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the next few days will not see much if any relief as heat advisories/warnings remain in place due to very little change in the overall weather pattern. Gusty southerly winds during the day will diminish somewhat at night but not enough to allow for much cooling and morning lows will be in the mid-upper 70s rural locations to lower 80s in the urban environment. However, the dew point will creep back up into the mid-upper 70s during the overnight and morning hours. For the afternoon of Wed/Thu, even stronger southerly winds should mix out the dew point into the low-mid 70s, but that will still keep heat index values near the 105-110 range.
At least the actual air temperature does not look like it will quite make it to triple digit territory as you can see on our forecast page. The higher humidity values and the verdant vegetation and moist soils will combine to keep at least a bit of a lid on our daytime highs.
As for the chance of additional showers/storms, there is a very slight chance later tonight into the morning hours as a system aloft moves overhead. But, this is a very weak system so the chances look to be minimal at this time. Little or no mention of rain is expected for Thu either but by Fri into the weekend, conditions look to be a bit more favorable. Will keep a slight chance on Friday followed by a better chance on Saturday. This will be due to a series of systems aloft coming our way which will bring not only the chance of rain, but the extra cloud cover should knock temperatures down at least somewhat for the weekend and perhaps into early next week.
Looking further down the road, the long range guidance continues to suggest above normal temperatures along with only scattered showers/storms for the 8-14 day time frame. That means little relief from the heat and humidity. That would suggest our soils will start to dry out which will make it more likely for triple digit temperatures to eventually occur.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.