Up to this point, September has felt like an extension of August… or August Version 2.0. Out of the first 19 days of the month, only 2 have had a high temperature below normal. Thanks to a fairly potent cold front, our weather is about to catch up to the season at hand. For the first remaining hours (as I write this) before it passes Green Country, we are still in the summer sauna.
Thursday's high temperature was cut short due to scattered storm development around Tulsa. Even so, we had readings well into the 90s with a heat index just short of the century mark. We've kept some distance from the record high temperatures. However, the consistent warmth would have me fooled that October is not far off if I hadn't been checking the calendar. Our average high temperature this time of year is in the lower 80s. A month from this date, the average high is 72°. Clearly it's time for a cool-down.
It's also clearly time for some rain. While parts of our state have seen a significant reduction in the drought (ie The Panhandle), other parts are still waiting on the first decent rain in over a month. The latest Drought Monitor is attached. Fortunately, there is some good news in this department within the next 24 hours.
The front is expected to bring widespread rain, but not a major threat of severe weather. The main threat will be for localized ponding on roadways that could impact travel early Friday. Some gusty winds are possible in the stronger storms. The rain should clear from northwest to southeast during the day Friday and be out of here in time for most of the high school football games. It's a clean sweep of a front, which means cooler, drier air will settle in by Friday night.
This sets us up for an outstanding weather weekend. Lows in the 50s with highs just into the 80s will give us a nice hint of the fall season, which officially begins Sunday with the equinox. We may be able to say, "so long" to summer, but the week to come may feature above-normal temperatures once again as south winds return with more sunshine. We could be back up towards 90° by mid to late week… just in time for the Tulsa State Fair. Just beyond the scope of our forecast, a deep trough is expected to form out west, which could generate a severe weather-producing storm system. We're getting back into our secondary severe thunderstorm season so these kinds of systems bear watching. The Climate Prediction calls for above-normal rainfall for the first week of the fair (see map) – yikes!
Enjoy the rain and the cool-down to follow! It looks like we'll be taking one more step away from summer heat and getting into a more typical fall weather pattern. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and like my page on Facebook!