Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Ozone Alert For Tuesday


Monday, June 27th 2016, 7:35 pm
By: News On 6


Although a few lucky folks picked up some good rains over the last 24 hours, most of us are still too dry.  Notice the rainfall over the last 24 hours, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, and that is very obvious.  Not only that, but what rain did fall once again mostly missed the official observing location for Tulsa out at the airport.  As a result, the month of June now stands as the 6th driest on record.  That is not all as the month so far is also running as the 7th warmest on record.

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Here is another way of looking at it with the departure from normal across the state over the last 30 days.  Again, it is obvious that the only decent rainfall has mostly been confined to the far southern counties.

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So, we need rain and fortunately the pattern aloft is becoming more favorable for showers and storms and perhaps even some locally heavy rainfall.  This is best illustrated with a map of the wind flow at the 500 mb level, or approximately 18,000’ above sea level.  The first map shows the pattern as analyzed around mid-day today.  The big high pressure ridge shown over the southern Rockies had been meandering around the Southern Plains for the last several weeks providing a lid on most of the rain chances.  Obviously, it has now drifted further west which is allowing our winds aloft to be from a more NW component.

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The next map shows the projected flow by Wednesday evening suggesting a stronger NW wind flow and that pattern is more favorable for bringing showers/storms our way.  As you can see on our forecast page, we do ramp up the rain chances later this week into the coming weekend with the NW flow pattern hopefully bringing some decent rains.  

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Notice by Sunday morning the ridge aloft gets flattened out which means a more zonal or W-E flow aloft over the state.  There will be some embedded disturbances associated with that, but in general this is a less favorable pattern for us to get some good rains.  As a result, we taper off the rain chances by early next week which also suggests that the Fourth of July festivities should only have to deal with a few, very isolated showers or storms by then.

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The extra cloud cover along with the better chances of showers/storms will also knock our temperatures back at least somewhat for later in the week.  Unfortunately, look for another sticky day on Tuesday with morning lows in the lower 70s and daytime highs in the low-mid 90s.  Light and variable winds tonight and to start the day Tuesday will only be very light and from an easterly direction for the rest of the day.  This combination of light winds, mostly sunny skies, and the heat are why an Ozone Alert is also in effect for the Tulsa Metropolitan area for Tuesday.

The longer range guidance suggests a return to above normal temperatures but still with at least a chance of a few showers/storms for the 8-14 day time frame.  That makes our rain chances during the coming week all the more important that we do indeed get a good soaking.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot