A nice little break from the heat has been moving across the state during the day today and will bring relief to the more southern counties in the days ahead. Notice the 24-hour temperature change map as of mid-afternoon, for example, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Notice also the max/min temperatures for today which shows the triple digit heat was confined to the far southern counties.
Speaking of triple digits, it was on this date back in 1936 that Tulsa set its all-time ‘official’ high-temperature record of 115. We have been close on several occasions since then, but that record has so far stood the test of time.
In another frame of reference with regard to triple digit heat, notice the third map, which shows the number of days in which triple digits have occurred so far this year across the state, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet. A couple of things stand out; first is the higher number of days with triple digits south of I-40. That is due to the much drier conditions that have persisted down there over the course of the last 30 days which is shown on the next map.
Another point of interest is the lack of triple digits for most of NE OK, except in Tulsa County. Two factors have likely contributed to that; the first being the urban heat island effect in the immediate Tulsa area, and the second is also suggested by the rainfall map which shows a relative minimum located in that same general area.
At any rate, relief is arriving, but the cool front that is bringing a break in the heat has not brought much in the way of rainfall. Notice the rainfall map for today and you can see most of what has occurred has been confined to the far northern counties and the prospects for much more this evening or tonight are not very good. In fact, after tonight our chances of rain will be relegated to the slim to none category through the rest of this forecast cycle, and quite likely beyond that time frame as well.
As you can see on our forecast page, there is no mention of rain, although cannot rule out one or two isolated showers possibly developing in the higher terrain of the more eastern counties, but the chances even there are much less than 10%. So, this is mainly a temperature forecast for this forecast cycle and the August sun will try to overcome the drier, somewhat cooler air that is being brought in by northerly winds.
A N to NE wind of 5-15 in the next few days will bring in the drier air to drop the dew point temperature into the low-mid 60s which is much more comfortable than the 70+ of recent days. That will also allow our nights to drop into the 60s through the middle of the week which will make our mornings much more pleasant.
Except for some thin, high cirrus clouds, we will have lots of sunshine in the days ahead, and that should be enough to push our daytime highs to around the 90-degree mark. That means most of the day will be in the 80s, and with those lower dew points, much more comfortable outside. Keep in mind though that if you are in the direct sunshine, it will feel much warmer; after all it is still August.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.