Increasing Rain Chances by the Weekend.

Wednesday, August 22nd 2012, 4:23 pm
By: News On 6

Notice the QPF map on the right which is valid through Monday morning. If this verifies, our state stands to receive a good, widespread, general soaking which will put a real dent in the drought situation for the first time since back in May when the flash drought was developing. As always, this represents an areal average for precipitation and does not mean that everyone will receive a couple of inches of rain. There will be some locations that will receive much more and others much less. However, the data coming in this morning certainly does look promising for much more of the state to receive the badly needed rainfall than occurred last weekend when many of us were left out. So, don't get your hopes up too high, but this event does have the potential for significant rains by the time it is all said and done.

There are still some timing issues to be resolved which will come into better focus as we get closer to the event. For now, it looks like showers/storms will be forming in W OK on Friday which will be moving eastward but likely weakening with time. At any rate, we will have at least a chance of showers/storms during the day Friday and through the overnight hours. Showers/storms should reform on Saturday and again on Sunday. The severe potential looks to be marginal at best, but a few severe storms cannot be ruled out.

Between now and then, the fire danger will remain elevated. Brisk southerly winds today and Thursday will be up to 20 mph and at times even more. Together with daytime temperatures in the low-mid 90s both days and the dry vegetation, any fires could easily get out of hand. Typically, the winds calm down at night, and they will diminish but should still be around 10 mph or so for tonight and Thursday night. That will keep our overnight temperatures up as well with morning lows in the upper 60s to near 70 tonight and the lower 70s for the next several nights.

As the clouds thicken and the rain moves in, temperatures will be near 90 on Friday and only in the 80s through the weekend, possibly even struggling to reach 80 as was the case last Saturday. So, not only do we have the prospect of receiving some badly needed rainfall, but temperatures will also remain in check at least through the weekend.

The longer range forecast is more questionable than usual due to the uncertainties regarding tropical storm Isaac. The official guidance keeps Isaac well east of us with no direct impacts on our weather. However, at least one of the suite of numerical guidance products suggests a much further westward track which would produce some impacts here. Jury is still out on that one. However, if you have any travel plans along the Gulf Coast or into Florida this weekend or early next week, strongly suggest keeping a close eye on the weather as there remain a wide range of possibilities regarding Isaac.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot