Summer Has Switched On

Sunday, June 5th 2016, 11:24 pm
By: News On 6

We can’t fully close the door on severe weather season yet.  However, it sure feels like we’ve turned a sharp corner with a very summer-like pattern now settling into the area.  The jet stream has weakened a bit and lifted northward, putting us out of the main storm track. On top of that, the Tropics are active with the third named system of the year emerging into the Gulf of Mexico.  We don’t typically see much of this until at least the peak summer season.

                While the newly-formed Tropical Storm Colin won’t have a direct impact on our weather this week, it will begin to feel much more tropical as the week goes on.  For now, we’ve got unseasonably dry air in place behind a refreshing cold front. This means we will cool off nicely at night, even leading to the potential for morning fog the next few days. Beyond that however, the weather hazards are very limited.  A reinforcing “cold” front will arrive Tuesday, keeping the hotter air to the west at bay.  However, a ridge of high pressure in the jet stream will eventually push east. With that, comes a warm-up that will finally send our temperatures in Tulsa into the 90s for the first time this year. This will in fact be the latest first 90°-degree day since 1993.  I’m not complaining!  The set-up midweek is shown below.


                As the surface high pressure shifts east under this ridge, our winds will turn southerly, pulling in a fetch of Gulf moisture that will raise those dewpoints. More moisture in the air starting on Wednesday will mean a much muggier feel to the air than this first portion of the week.  Heat index values will unfortunately be a frequently-mentioned topic in our weathercasts as well.  Some days may see heat index values up to 97° with actually high temperatures in the lower 90s.  Get ready… summer heat is finally upon us!

                As the jet stream pattern advances eastward, another trough will emerge from the west, and that southwesterly flow aloft will eventually induce showers and storms in the area as early as the weekend. While the strength of the jet stream is weaker than what we’d have seen a month ago, we can’t rule out a return to at least a limited severe weather threat. After all, June is still an active storm month for Oklahoma.  The 8 to 14 day outlook shows a slightly wetter than normal pattern will return mid-month.


                As for our Tropical Storm in the Gulf, it is already starting to bring rain impacts to the Florida Gulf coastline. It will come ashore in northern Florida Monday night and continue upward into the coastal Carolinas into midweek. It may be a rough time for a Florida vacation in the next few days, but this system will be in and out in quick fashion.


                Enjoy the unofficial start to the summer season and don’t forget the sunscreen outdoors! The sun angle is very high this time of year and it takes 15 minutes or less midday to start to burn that precious skin of ours.  For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.