Guess we can officially now say it is hot and humid. Today was the hottest day of the year so far as Tulsa topped out at 98 and the heat index made it into triple-digit territory for the first time.
As for the rest of the state, notice the max/min temperature map as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. For the first time this year, we have triple digit numbers on the map from the Mesonet sites in far SW OK. But, the second map shows those maximum heat index values this afternoon and it certainly felt like triple digits at lots of other places.
We also had our first Ozone Alert today and as of this writing, although the numbers are high, it appears we have stayed below an exceedance level. Stronger southerly winds are expected for the next few days which will keep the atmosphere well mixed and therefore an Ozone Alert has not been issued for Thursday. By the way, there was only one Ozone Alert issued for all of last summer.
The stronger southerly winds for Thursday will continue through the weekend keeping very warm, humid air over us. At the same time, conditions aloft will undergo some changes with the upper-level ridge being replaced with more of a SW flow pattern as we get into the weekend. That combination will provide a little more cloud cover for Thursday which will knock a few degrees off our daytime high temperatures and much more cloud cover starting Friday into next week.
As you can see on our forecast page, that will knock our daytime highs back into the 80s, although our overnight lows will stay well above normal. By the way, the normal diurnal temperature range for Tulsa for today is 86/66 but gradually rising in the days ahead.
Those changes will also bring increasing chances of showers/storms. Almost hate to say this, but we have not had any rain so far this month, and things are starting to dry out. At any rate, look for a slight chance of a few showers/storms on Friday but much better chances going through the weekend and quite possibly into next week as well. As you can see on the 7-day QPF map, the more western counties stand to receive the heaviest amounts, but we could end up with some decent totals on this side of the state as well.
The more unsettled pattern that will be developing for the weekend may well extend beyond that time frame. Notice the 6-10-day outlook graphics which continue to suggest a wetter than normal signal for us along with above normal temperatures.
So, the humidity will certainly stay with us for the foreseeable future although we do expect some relief from the daytime heat along with more cloud cover and increasing chances of showers/storms as we head into the coming weekend.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.