Once again, another round of showers/storms impacted portions of the state last night, as you can see from the 24-hour rainfall map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. That makes three straight days/nights with rain for some locations and has left quite a rainfall footprint across the state, as the totals for the last three days also illustrate. Needless to say, this is rather unusual for the month of July.
For tonight, there will be one more chance of some showers/storms dropping out of KS and moving across portions of the area, primarily the more NE counties the way things look now. After that, the heat will be building back over us with a vengeance and heat advisories have already been issued going through the weekend.
Notice the max/min temperature map for today and you can see that at least the rain footprint and lingering cloud cover managed to keep our daytime highs somewhat under control this afternoon. Unfortunately, mostly sunny skies in the days ahead will allow temperatures to soar, and with all the moisture available, that will also bring the combination of heat and humidity into dangerous territory - thus the heat advisories. Heat index values will exceed 105 each of the next several afternoons and may reach near the 110 mark for some locations. That means take plenty of breaks and drink lots of water if involved in outdoor activities.
After tonight, there is no mention of rain till later next week, as you can see on our forecast page. With lots of sunshine each day and light southerly winds, temperatures will be running well above normal with daytime highs in the mid-upper 90s each day and overnight lows in the upper 70s to near 80 for the downtown, urban environment each night. In other words, hot and humid with not much relief during the evening and overnight hours, so again, take it easy with the outdoor activities.
At least all the moisture in the ground and the verdant vegetation will combine to keep temperatures from really maxing, out and presently we are keeping the forecast maximum temperatures below triple digits. If/when things dry out, that is when the temperature will really start to soar, but it appears we will have another pattern change before then.
Again, the forecast page has upper 90s until later next week which is when the pattern aloft will amplify once again with ridging moving further west of us and allowing for a more NW flow. That typically brings frontal boundaries into the area and also more cloud cover along with chances of showers/storms. So, after another brief heat wave, looks like the pattern should become more unsettled again by this time next week.
In fact, looking further down the road, the longer range guidance continues to suggest that we will have these periodic episodes of active weather so that the outlook for the month of August suggests temperatures should average below normal along with above normal chances of precipitation. This would be a continuation of what we have seen so far this summer and appears to be at least remotely related to the ongoing El Nino event in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.