What a difference a day can make, even in August, as you can see from the 24-hour temperature change map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Notice also the max/min temperature map for today, which is a little misleading. For the most part, the maximum temperatures for this calendar day occurred shortly after midnight, and although there has been some recovery this afternoon, it was not back to the levels of the overnight hours.
By the way, for Tulsa, the official high for today will go down as 75 - which occurred around 2 a.m. - and since then we have been in the 60s with a brief recovery into the 70s late in the day. The record cool high temperature for this date is 74 set 100 years ago to put these temperatures in perspective.
We also received some badly needed moisture with the system that brought the cooler conditions. Notice, for example, the next map which shows the number of days across the state since as much as 0.25” of rain has occurred. As you can see, there are many locations on this side of the state that have not received that much rainfall in almost 30 days, and in some cases up to 40 days. In other words, this has been a very dry August.
That points out how important the rains of last night and today have been, and you can see the totals over the last 24 hours were impressive for some locations. In Tulsa County for example, over 3 inches was recorded at the airport, which is a record for this date, but the southern part of the county only received around ½” or less. Quite a gradient, but we have another chance for showers or storms by this coming weekend.
Before that, our skies will be clearing out tonight, the winds calming down, and after such a cool day today look for morning lows to drop into the low-mid 50s which will be close to record levels. For Tulsa, the record for tomorrow morning is 53 and we should be just above that. The residual moisture from the rains together with the clear skies and light winds could also result in patchy early morning fog, particularly for the valleys.
Lots of sunshine is then expected for Thursday and our winds will return to a more SE direction which will help warm temperatures back into the upper 70s to low 80s. After that, as you can see on our forecast page, another system will be spreading more cloud cover our way on Friday with a chance of a few showers and storms and a better chance into the day Saturday. Another front will be pushing through the state Sunday morning with another chance of showers/storms, but this will not be nearly as strong a system as what we just experienced. A few lingering showers may last into the Monday time frame, along with a bit of a cool-down, but we will likely see some 90s again going into the latter part of next week.
In fact, looking further down the road through the end of August, the outlook suggests above normal temperatures and below normal chances of precipitation.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.