In case you had not heard, a big astronomical event is taking place with Jupiter and Venus appearing to be very close together tonight and tomorrow night; what astronomers call a planetary conjunction. Here is a link with some of the details.
The issue now is whether or not we will get to see it here in E OK. The problem this evening is the smoke that is in the air from forest fires in Canada and Alaska that is making it this far south with the upper-level wind flow. That will at least partially obscure the ability to see the conjunction tonight.
The problem Tuesday night will be more clouds in the sky, which may also obscure the ability to see the conjunction from our location. Although overcast skies are not anticipated, we do expect at least some cloud cover for the Tuesday evening and early nighttime period, and if those clouds happen to be in the wrong place at the right time then they would interfere with our ability to see it.
Speaking of clouds, there will also be a very slight chance of a few isolated showers or storms for far S and SE OK for Tuesday afternoon. That will be followed by another slight chance late Wednesday for the more northern counties as a weak boundary makes a run at the state and an even better chance in time for the Fri/Sat fireworks that are scheduled at many locations. Notice the 7-day QPF map and you can see we stand to get some decent rains by the time it is all said and done; in fact there may be some local drainage issues as well.
Temperatures will also be warming up in the next couple of days as you can see on our forecast page. The last few days have actually been relatively pleasant compared to what we had much of next week. Notice the max/min temperature map for today and you can see that at least for NE OK, temperatures were generally in the 80s to low 90s.
Also, heat index values did not make it feel any worse due to the dew point temperature holding in the low 60s, as you can see on the max heat index map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Obviously, other parts of the state were not so fortunate with both higher temperatures and more moisture to make it more uncomfortable.
A weak boundary has stalled out just south of I-40 which brought the more moderate conditions for here in NE OK. That boundary also provided a focus for a few showers and storms that popped up late this afternoon.
Notice the maximum winds for today, and no that 96 mph wind at Minco is not a misprint. That just goes to show what can happen with these summertime storms. An event like that is what we refer to as a microburst and is nearly impossible to forecast in advance.
Light southerly winds for Tuesday and stronger southerly winds for Wednesday will warm things up as that frontal boundary dissipates tonight. Then, another boundary will approach on Thursday and should be in the area for the Fri/Sat time frame. That will bring with it another good chance of showers and storms and, as mentioned above, potentially some locally very heavy rainfall.
A more stable pattern should then return for early next week with another round of hot, humid weather and little or no mention of rain after the weekend is over.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.