Hot & Dry With High Evaporation Rates.

Monday, May 19th 2014, 8:36 pm
By: News On 6

What little rain we received late last week is quickly being depleted due to the warm temperatures and strong southerly winds of not only today but the rest of this week. Notice the first map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which shows the strongest winds so far today. Those kind of winds can easily result in evaporation rates as much as ¼" per day on this side of the state and ½" or more for the western counties where the humidity levels are lower….notice the second map on the right, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet. By the way, the evaporation rate data comes from the US Army COE.

Not a good combination as these factors will also result in a high fire danger. Much above normal temperatures will continue through the rest of this week along with southerly winds each day. The pressure gradient is expected to relax somewhat as the week wears on so at least the winds are not expected to be quite as strong by later this week. This is in response to a rather potent disturbance aloft that will be settling into the southern Rockies over the next few days and gradually weakening as it does so. It will also be drifting slowly eastward with time which should result in multiple days with widespread showers/storms for the more western counties over the Memorial Day weekend and perhaps our turn will come early next week.

Notice the third map on the right which shows the estimated total precipitation for a 7 day period, what is often referred to as the 7 day QPF. For a change, E OK will be on the eastern fringe of the heavier precipitation instead of on the western fringe which has happened so often this year. At any rate, our western neighbors stand to finally get some decent rainfall but it is already too late for the wheat crop. Hopefully, this will at least get the grass to growing and settle the dust out there. There may also be some severe storms associated with this event.

As mentioned, we will be much above normal with respect to temperatures all through this period with daytime highs reaching into the upper 80s if not near 90 and our overnight lows remaining in the 60s. Southerly winds have also brought more low level moisture over us which will also help keep our nights much warmer than the 30s and 40s of last week. Most of the active weather will be for our western neighbors, but there will be at least a few showers/storms on this side of the state as well by the time the weekend rolls around. Eventually, the storm system out west will eject eastward bringing more widespread showers/storms our way along with the potential for heavy rainfall and some severe weather. The timing on that is very iffy at this point but appears to be at least a week away.

In the meantime, make sure the air conditioner is working, stay tuned, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot