Another hot one today, but at least we were a few degrees cooler this morning than was the case yesterday morning. So far today, the max/min temperatures in Tulsa have been 95/75 which is well above the normal diurnal range for this date of 90/70.
As you can see on the max/min temperature map across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, temperatures have been pretty uniform today and within a degree or two of yesterday. The reason for that is the extensive green footprint across the state from all the rain we received in May and again last week with TS Bill. The wet soil and green vegetation absorb much of the sun's energy which, in turn, limits how much the air is heated.
However, the flip side of that is the humidity levels only drop off to around 50% during the heat of the day which, in turn, pushes the heat index into the triple digits. Notice the second map which shows the maximum heat index so far today for example.
More of the same is expected on Thursday, but after that we are in for a break. As mentioned in yesterday's blog, there are some significant changes expected in the wind pattern aloft which will allow a fairly strong cool front for this time of year to move through the state on Friday followed by a significant cool-down in time for the weekend.
That front will also bring a chance for showers and storms, some of which could be marginally severe with primarily a wind/hail threat. The latest data now suggests some overnight showers/storms in KS Thursday night could make into our northern counties early Friday morning, followed by a better chance that afternoon as the main front arrives later in the day. Some locations may receive some decent rainfall, as you can see on the 3-day QPF map. Keep in mind, this is an areal average and local amounts could be much higher.
Our forecast page is calling for it to be noticeably cooler behind the front, with northerly winds on Saturday and light winds for Sunday into the day Monday. Those winds will also bring lower dew point air, i.e. drier air, back into the state which, in turn, will allow for cooler nights and more comfortable days.
The NW flow pattern aloft described in yesterday's blog is expected to persist through next week and into the following week as well. Not only is that a cooler pattern for us as it will allow occasional cool fronts to move across the state, but it is also a more unsettled pattern with the potential for showers/storms to also move over the state and not always associated with an actual surface boundary. At any rate, from the 8-14-day outlook graphics, you can see that there is a stronger signal suggesting below normal temperatures and above normal rainfall over that time frame.
So the much above normal temperatures we have been enduring this week will give way to a pattern suggesting near to below normal temperatures as we head into July.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.