Record Heat, Welcome to Summer!

Monday, May 5th 2014, 11:24 am
By: News On 6

Welcome to Summer! Well, not quite, but we have certainly jumped from a cool start to the month of May to record setting heat yesterday which will continue through today and quite likely Tuesday. Notice the map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which shows the high temperatures yesterday across the state. That is a record number of triple digit temperatures for this early in the year. Hard to believe that just Friday morning we had temperatures in the 30s.

Speaking of record heat, the record high temperature for today here in Tulsa is 92 and we should easily exceed that number. Sunny skies, very low humidity levels, and strong southerly winds will also contribute to another high fire danger situation today. A minimum relative humidity dropping into the low 20% range together with southerly winds gusting to 30 mph or more is not a good combination.

Those southerly winds will, however, eventually bring abundant gulf moisture our way so the humidity levels will be higher for Tue/Wed which will help mitigate the fire danger. That will also result in more cloud cover which should hold daytime highs down a bit. That combination will also keep us from cooling much at night. As a result, morning lows will be in the mid-upper 60s for the next few nights and daytime highs back into the low 90s Tuesday but upper 80s on Wednesday.

There will also be a chance of a few showers/storms on Wednesday, but most of that activity should be over the more western or central counties. Quite frankly, as badly as we need rain, they need it much worse. Notice the statewide drought map on the right, also courtesy of the Ok Mesonet.

Thursday is looking like a very interesting day with showers/storms likely, but the set-up will also favor at least some of those storms becoming severe. Far too early to be any more specific than to say widespread showers/storms are likely during the day and since this is May then there will be the potential for severe weather as well. Perhaps more importantly will be the potential for some decent rainfall, at least for our side of the state. Notice the 7 day QPF map on the right which suggests the possibility of an inch or more east of I-35 but notice also that our western neighbors will not be as fortunate.

At least this system will bring a break in the heat with daytime highs expected to be in the upper 70s to low 80s from Thursday through the coming weekend. Also, our overnight lows will be dropping back into the 50s. There will also be at least a slight chance of lingering showers/storms as we go through the coming weekend so the latter part of this week through the weekend will be much more unsettled.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot