Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Flooding Concerns Tonight Into Wednesday

Tuesday, July 7th 2015, 9:37 pm
By: News On 6

Don’t know about your place, but where I live, large cracks in the soil have formed in recent days - particularly under the bigger trees or where the soil has more clay. Given how wet we have been the last couple of months, that may seem strange but recently our rainy periods have been separated by extensive periods of dry weather.

For example, until today there has been little or no rain at my house since TS Bill moved out on June 18. During that time, the evapotranspiration rates have been on the order of a quarter to a third of an inch per day, so it does not take long for a lot of moisture to be removed from the soil. By the way, the term evapotranspiration includes the moisture removed by evaporation and the moisture removed by plants, i.e. transpiration.

At any rate, the combined action of the plants and the mostly sunny skies and heat of recent days just goes to show how quickly our soils can dry out, despite the recent floods. I mention all that because we have another flood event impacting the area as I write and which will likely be followed by another extensive period with little mention of rain.

Notice the rainfall over the last 24 hours, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, and keep in mind some of those totals occurred over a space of just an hour or two. In other words, these showers and storms are very efficient rainfall makers with rain rates on the order of 1-2” per hour and at times even more.

Widespread showers and storms will continue through the night tonight and into the Wednesday morning time frame with at least some flooding likely. That will be followed by a break from the heavier rains during the day with cloudy skies and just some lingering light showers. Another round of showers/storms will be possible for Wednesday night into the day Thursday before the pattern finally changes.

Next issue is how much more rain may occur. Notice the 3-day QPF map, valid from 7 p.m. this evening till 7 p.m. Friday evening, and it is obvious that local totals of another 5” or more will be possible. Although this is not a tropical system, the moisture profiles are very tropical in nature and as mentioned above the rainfall rates will easily be enough to create some flooding issues, particularly tonight and into the day Wednesday.

After that, as you can see on our forecast page, there will be little or no mention of rain through the weekend and into next week. In fact, as you can see on the 6-10-day outlooks, the signal suggests little or no mention of rain throughout that time period along with above normal temperatures.

Speaking of temperatures, the clouds and showers associated with the cool front that moved through today has certainly provided a nice break in the heat. Notice the max/min temperature map today for example, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Keep in mind that our normal diurnal range is 92/72. Much below normal daytime temperatures are expected again Wednesday, starting to warm up by Thursday, and then back to hot and humid for the weekend with heat index values likely well into triple digit territory.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot