Days of Rain and Storms Lie Ahead

Tuesday, May 5th 2015, 6:55 pm
By: News On 6

Our week-long stretch of quiet, sunny, pleasant days is coming to an end as a persistently stormy weather pattern develops over the Southern Plains. Dry weather is giving way to soaking rains that could not only reverse the drought trend west of Tulsa, but also create flooding issues into our weekend.

                A deep trough in the jet stream to our west will eject multiple waves of upper-level energy, sparking daily storms to our west.  Those storms will trudge their way into eastern Oklahoma each night and into the following day.  It's a conveyer belt of storms that will initially bring less of a severe weather threat and more of a flooding one.  Our first wave is moving in as I write this blog Tuesday evening.  Over an inch of rain may fall by Wednesday afternoon over portions of Green Country as a slow-moving batch of rain and embedded storms shifts northeastward.

                That's just Round 1.  The next round will fire along the dryline to our west on Wednesday and potentially reach parts of the area late that night.  In addition, afternoon heating in the presence of ample moisture may trigger popcorn showers and storms.  If you wanted to find a dry window of time, I can't promise one until Monday.  However, much of Thursday will likely be dry as storms fire far enough west to stay out of our hair for a while.  Still, at any given time, we can't rule out a rogue shower or storm.

                Rain and storm chances begin to ramp up again on Friday.  Most of the upper-level wind shear to support severe storms will remain to our west through this time, but a complex or two of heavy rain and storms may reach us again on Friday and as we kick off the weekend that night.  Even if the storms aren't severe, the saturated soils by this point may create run-off issues in heavy rainfall which could lead to flooding.  The attached map shows the potential rainfall between now and early next week.  That is drought-busting rainfall for areas still in need of water just north and west of Tulsa!

                Saturday afternoon and evening will present to us our first substantial severe threat of this whole stretch. The moisture and instability will continue to be in place, but greater wind shear and focus for storm formation nearby will enhance our threat for all types of severe weather.  Saturday's Severe Weather Outlook from the Storm Prediction Center is attached. This system will finally get a big push eastward by Mother's Day, putting Green Country in the zone for storms to fire and possibly become severe.  I'd make sure you have an indoor option to celebrate mom that day! A cold front will sweep through the area by Sunday night, hopefully giving us at least a brief hiatus from the stormy weather.

                The bottom line: multiple rounds of heavy rain will impact the entire area, leading to a flooding threat by the weekend. Severe weather can't be ruled out between now and then, but the greater threat for hail, high winds and a few tornadoes won't arrive until Saturday and Sunday.  It's severe weather season and clearly our wet season as well.  I hope you've done that yard work!  Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page for all of the updates.