Showers/storms kept me busy yesterday so did not get a chance to update the blog. As has been mentioned for days now, this past June was shaping up to be one of the driest and warmest on record and that is certainly how it turned out. We did catch a brief shower at the airport late Thursday evening which brought the monthly rainfall total all the way up to a whopping 0.77” which places the month as the 5th driest on record.
As for temperatures, the month ended with an average temperature that places it as the 6th warmest on record. We were about 5 degrees above normal for the month which basically means we skipped June and went directly into July. By the way, as a precursor for the rest of the summer the jury is out regarding whether this means the rest of the summer will also be hot and dry. About half of the previous Junes that were hotter/drier than this past June were followed by cooler/wetter conditions for the rest of the summer so June is not necessarily a very good predictor for the rest of the summer.
However, despite how dry many locations are, those scattered showers/storms that do form move slowly at this time of year and can drop some very heavy rains in a short period of time. Notice the 24 hour rainfall map for example and the 5+ inches that fell on Pawnee over a period of 2-3 hours this morning.
At any rate, at least July got off to a reasonable start today as the cloudy skies and scattered showers kept temperatures down. Notice the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. For Tulsa, July has started off with a max/min of 88/73 as compared to the 91/71 that is normal for this time of year.
We will more than make up for that on Saturday though as gusty southerly winds and partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies should result in temperatures reaching the mid 90s after starting the day in the low-mid 70s. An isolated shower/storm cannot be ruled out over the terrain favored locations late in the day.
A stronger system will come our way on Sunday which will bring a decent shot at showers/storms that morning in advance of a frontal boundary and again late in the day or that night as the boundary stalls out over southern OK. Winds will shift from southerly to a northerly component behind the boundary and together with the clouds and showers/storms, should result in daytime highs in the 80s to near 90.
Notice the 3 day QPF map which suggests the potential for a good soaking for many locations. That does not mean everyone will receive that much rainfall, just that the potential exists for some local downpours.
As you can see on our forecast page, after that the chances of any significant rainfall drop off considerably. A few morning leftover showers/storms may still be hanging around for Independence Day, but right now it appears those will be gone in time for the evening fireworks displays. With mostly sunny skies and southerly winds returning for the rest of the week, daytime highs will once again be climbing and we could see our first triple digit temperatures by the end of the week. Heat index values will certainly be well into triple digit territory each afternoon.
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 makes our rain chances during the coming days all the more important as we certainly do need a good soaking.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.