The summer of 2015 continues to roll on without triple-digit temperatures and, fortunately, without the widespread threat of more flooding at the other end of the spectrum. In fact, the last several days have been about as seasonable as they come with high and low temperatures within a few degrees of normal. Greater fluctuation in both temperatures and rain chances are coming up in the week ahead that will keep us on our toes.
A slow-moving upper level system is going to fire showers and storms in the Panhandle region and send them eastward overnight into Tuesday morning. This system will likely be part of a double-whammy: two rounds of rain and storms are possible. The first arrives later in the morning and lasts into the afternoon mainly over areas north of I-40. The second develops late Tuesday night into Wednesday morning over far eastern and northeastern Oklahoma as the low-level jet (stronger, moisture-laden winds just above the surface) reignite showers and storms as the wave of energy moves to our northeast. Rainfall amounts may exceed an inch near the Oklahoma-Kansas line by Wednesday night as shown in the attached rain map. A few storms may be strong to marginally severe with strong winds and possibly some large hail Tuesday afternoon and again into Wednesday. The clouds and associated rain will keep our temperatures below normal on Tuesday. Enjoy the day in the 80s as the relief will be short-lived. By Wednesday, the warm-up begins again.
A strong ridge out west will slowly begin to slide into the Southern Plains late in the week. This turns on the blast furnace and our temperatures will start to rise into a very uncomfortable range yet again. There are signs this may temporarily get halted on Friday by a weak cold front, but the forcing to bring this south all the way through Green Country is in question. In any case, the heat ridge will expand later in the weekend and there’s no stopping the mercury rise at that point. Depending on where the heaviest rain falls, parts of the area may manage to stay below the century mark in actual temperature. However, it seems inevitable, given the strength of this ridge of high pressure and the time of year, that may places will see their first triple-digit air temperatures of the year. Even the following week in August appears to keep the ridging in place. The Climate Prediction Center is sticking with that solution and place Oklahoma squarely in a region of above-normal temperatures through mid-August. We may just make up for lost time. It sure was too early to call it a “mild” summer anyway.
Enjoy the rain and hopefully we’ll avoid any nasty storms in the process. Just remember, summer is far from over and the highest of temperatures are still likely to come. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and like my page on Facebook for more updates!