Drought to flood, that pretty well summarizes how these recent rains have transformed our state.
After nearly 5 years of drought, notice the first image which is the latest drought monitor. It clearly shows the drought has been practically eradicated. Given the amount of rain we have received recently, you may well be wondering why there is any drought at all.
Keep in mind there are short-term impacts and long-term impacts of drought. The short-term impacts have been eliminated with the wet soils and lush vegetation, but the long-term impacts, which affect the hydrology such as lakes and ponds, have not been completely eliminated as of yet.
The second map shows the 24-hour rainfall totals as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Once again, those rains produced some locally very heavy amounts. As a result, much of the state continues to be under flood watches, flood warnings, or rivers and streams which are flooding and that is what the next map shows.
This last round of rainfall just continues to add to the already record-setting monthly rainfall for the state as a whole. For here in Tulsa, we are now in second place for the month of May with over 13” and in 6th place for any month of the year.
And, it is not over yet. Another round of showers/storms will be forming to our west and making a run at us by early Friday morning with the potential for another good soaking. That will be followed by yet another round of showers/storms late Friday into the morning hours of Saturday. But after that, conditions are expected to start improving.
A cool front will be moving through during the morning/early afternoon hours of Saturday with only some lingering showers into the afternoon or evening. That will be followed by improving conditions for Sunday and into early next week with little or no mention of rain.
However, between now and then, the 3-day QPF shows the potential for another inch or more of rain, with locally heavier amounts possible for the more southern counties. All this rain cooled air and the mostly cloudy skies will also keep temperatures in check with morning lows in the 60s and daytime highs in the 70s to low 80s.
As you can see on our forecast page, little or no mention of rain is expected as we head into next week along with milder conditions for the Sunday/Monday time frame. As our winds return to a southerly direction, during the week, things will start warming up but our daytime highs are still expected to stay below 90 as we head into the month of June. However, it will certainly be very muggy with all the moisture from these recent rains.
Notice the 6-10 outlook which strongly suggests below normal precipitation. Altogether, this suggests the month of June will get off to a relatively dry start. Certainly a relief given how May has been, but as mentioned in recent days, the long range outlook for the summer as a whole does have us in a wetter than normal signal.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.