As you can see on the max/min temperature map today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, we have jumped right into the middle of summer. Our normal max/min temperature range for this time of year here in Tulsa is 90/70 and we are well above those numbers.
In fact, the morning low of 78 was within 3 degrees of tying a record for the warmest minimum temperature on this date. As of this writing, the high for today has been 95, and those numbers are above what is normal even for late July or early August.
And, this early summer heat wave is not over yet as the next few days will see little change. That means morning lows well into the 70s and daytime highs well into the 90s again Wednesday and also on Thursday.
Minimum relative humidity levels will once again be near 50% during the heat of the day for both days, which also means the combination of heat and humidity will make it feel more like 100 or more each afternoon. These uncomfortable humidity levels are at least partially due to the wet soils and verdant vegetation; but that is also absorbing a great deal of the sun's energy and helping keep at least a bit of a lid on the air temperatures.
At least we do have a decent S/SW breeze to provide some ventilation and also keep the air from becoming too stagnant. But, the lack of any appreciable cloud cover also means abundant sunshine and little relief from the blazing sun so keep the sunscreen handy.
As you can see on our forecast page, we are not expecting these conditions to be lasting too much longer though. The wind pattern aloft will undergo a dramatic shift in time for the weekend and that will allow a cool front to move through the state late Fri/Fri night, followed by some significant relief from the heat over the weekend and into next week.
That boundary will also set off a good chance of showers/storms late Friday and through the overnight hours, which should be ending by early Saturday morning.
Notice the two maps depicting the wind flow aloft at approximately 31,000 feet above sea level. The first one represents what was initialized this morning and the second one represents what the pattern should look like Sunday morning according to the GFS. The colors represent the location of the strongest winds at that level; the jet stream if you will.
As you can see, the map from this morning has the jet stream orientated W-E across the northern Plains into the Great Lakes. A weak ridge aloft is located over us keeping us hot and dry. But, the map at the same level for Sunday morning shows a much more amplified solution with a massive ridge centered over the N Rockies and a strong trough all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico. This combination means extremely warm, dry conditions for the Rockies and the W Coast, but that will also allow cooler air to move down through the Plains all the way to the Gulf Coast.
This pattern is expected to persist well into July as you can also see on the 8-14 day outlook maps which have us in a below normal temperature pattern along with an above normal precipitation pattern. That is exactly what would be expected with the amplified flow pattern described above.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.