As has been mentioned on several occasions over the past few years, the drought monitor is updated each week on Thursday. The first image is today's edition and shows the drought is essentially eliminated across our state. The second map shows the drought monitor as of late Oct, 2010 which, by most accounts, marks the start of the drought which has finally ended.
Of course, more rainfall will be needed over the course of the summer or we can jump right back into a drought situation. But, we certainly do not need nor do we expect a repeat of this past May.
In fact, the pattern has changed over the course of the last week with ridging aloft now over the state and shifting the storm track a state or two further north, leaving us pretty much high and dry. But, this upper level ridging looks to be short lived as the longer range guidance continues to suggest it will break down and allow a series of systems aloft to move over the state and, perhaps even a weak frontal boundary to arrive by early next week.
Right now, this does not appear too threatening, but we will bring in chances of showers/storms again starting on Monday and with the extra cloud cover will knock temperatures down a few degrees.
Speaking of temperatures, here in Tulsa we officially made 90 degrees today for the first time since Oct 7 of last year. Notice the max/min temperature map for today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which shows several other locations on this side of the state also made it to the 90-degree mark. Of course, with the humidity, it has certainly felt warmer than that for the last several days as heat index values have added several degrees to the actual air temperature.
As you can see on our forecast page, temperatures near 90 during the day and only around 70 at night right on through the weekend will make for some very warm, humid conditions with heat index values possibly into the mid-90s at times. In other words, take it easy with the outdoor activities as most of us are not yet accustomed to these conditions.
As mentioned, a modest shift in the wind pattern aloft will bring some relief from the heat with a little more cloud cover as we head into next week. There will also be chances of showers/storms, but as you can see from the 7 day QPF map, the heaviest rains will be further north which is commonly the case as we get deeper into summer and the primary storm track usually shifts further northward.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.