Tulsa set a record today, and I suspect so did many other locations.
Notice the max/min temperature map as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. That is right, low 70s were common for the daytime highs which is about 20 degrees below normal, and for Tulsa, the official high of 73 shattered the previous record of 79 set all the way back in 1905 for a record low high temperature.
Of course, the reason for the cool conditions was the overcast skies and widespread rainfall. As you can see on the second map, the rains were generous with 48 hour totals in excess of 5” over a widespread area which also produced significant flooding in some locations. That is the continuation of a trend that started back in the early spring, as you can see on the 90-day rainfall totals, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet.
To say these conditions are unusual for July is an understatement, and, as might be expected, this will not be lasting much longer. The system responsible for the cloudy, cool, wet conditions will finally be lifting out to the NE with one more round of showers/storms on Thursday followed by a more stable environment starting Friday and into the following week.
There is still the possibility for some locally heavy showers/storms for the early morning hours of Thursday followed by redevelopment over the more northern counties that afternoon. That will be due to the surface boundary that has been located along the I-40 corridor lifting northward and becoming diffuse. However, aloft there will also be at least some support for a final round of showers/storms and some of them could be locally heavy. Notice the 2-day QPF map which suggests the potential for another inch or two of rain, primarily over the more northern counties.
After that, as you can see on our forecast page, it will be a return to more typical July weather.
Aloft, an extensive ridge of high pressure will be building over the state and eventually setting up over the southern Rockies. That process will provide us with plenty of sunshine starting on Friday and into early next week, along with above normal temperatures. But, the heat will be tempered by the extensive rain footprint from this round of heavy rainfall - so although this pattern would usually result in triple digit temperatures, that is not expected this time around.
However, the flip side of that is that all the moisture together with temperatures in the 90s will result in heat index values well into triple digit territory so it will certainly feel like it.
Beyond that time frame, the pattern looks to be more stable going through the next week or two. Above normal temperatures and below normal chances of showers or storms look to be the general rule which means things will start drying out once again. We still have not had any triple digit temperatures on this side of the state so far this summer, and only a few over the western counties. That streak may come to an end though if the extended guidance verifies.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.