After a week with dangerous levels of heat and humidity we will finally get a break over the course of the next few days. Those showers and storms that bubbled up late this afternoon were associated with a weak frontal boundary that is slowly moving into the state and will provide us with more cloud cover, a decent chance of additional showers and storms and at least a brief break in the heat.
Speaking of the heat, notice the max/min temperature map for today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Only a few locations across the state made it into triple digit territory, none of which were on this side of the state. In fact, notice the total number of triple digit days so far this year, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet; not that many even for W OK, and none so far this year for E OK.
In fact, the number of triple digit days across the state has a rather unusual pattern in that one would expect very little difference for the more western counties, yet there are some that have yet to reach triple digits. The reason for that is the rain footprint from the rains earlier in the month of July, which is reflected by the soil moisture index as indicated by the third map. Notice that where the soils are the driest is where most of the triple digit days have occurred so far this year.
That illustrates the impact of wet soils and verdant vegetation in mitigating the amount of heating that would otherwise occur. The showers and storms that developed late this afternoon left some locally heavy rains, but with that weak boundary in the area, additional showers/storms are expected through Wednesday before the boundary becomes diffuse.
As you can see on the QPF map, there is the potential for several inches of rain before this pattern returns to one that is more stable and allows the heat to build back in. That is not to say that everyone will receive that much rainfall, but there should be enough rainfall to leave behind another rain footprint to mitigate the heat at least somewhat for later in the week.
Before the heat returns, Tuesday and Wednesday are expected to be below normal with respect to our daytime highs with 80s on Tuesday and near 90 on Wednesday. After that, as you can see on our forecast page, temperatures will be jumping back well into the 90s and with all the surface moisture in place, heat index values will be well into triple digit territory once again.
Another heat wave will be building going into next week as the pattern aloft becomes dominated by a ridge of high pressure over the state. But, am reluctant to get too carried away with the daytime highs as that will depend on how extensive and how generous the rains are over the next couple of days and that all important rain footprint. Even so, would not be surprised if we have our first triple digit days on this side of the state by early next week.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.