Yesterday, I mentioned the difference between triple digits days so far this year compared to last year. The two charts on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, illustrate that very graphically. The top chart has the number of triple digits days through Aug 14, 2011 and the bottom chart through Aug 14, 2012. Notice the differences are most pronounced in W and SW OK, less so on our side of the state. Any way you look at it, both summers have been too miserably hot, but at least this summer has not been quite so bad.
And, after a rare below 90 day yesterday, temperatures will be soaring close to triple digits today and tomorrow across the state. Here in NE OK, we expect to be in the mid-upper 90s before the day is over, and upper 90s with possibly a few triple digits thrown in for Thursday. Gusty southerly winds together with the heat is also creating an enhanced fire danger situation.
But, a cool front will be arriving late Thursday and pushing on through the state by early Friday morning bringing a break in the heat which is expected to last through the weekend. Look for daytime highs in the 80s for Fri, Sat, and Sun and after a warm night tonight with lows in the 70s, we should be back into the 60s early Fri, Sat, and Sun morning.
This front will also bring a better chance of showers/storms, some of which may become marginally severe late Thursday. Damaging downburst winds and hail will be the primary threats, but at least we will have a chance of rain. The shower activity yesterday sure was nice, but did not do much more than settle the dust for most of us. We are going with a 50% chance of showers/storms for late Thu into early Friday morning with a break during the day Friday. The flow aloft should be supportive of redevelopment Friday night into Saturday morning so have brought the chances up to 50% for that time frame as well.
Now, don't get your hopes up too high. This will not be a drought breaker by any stretch, and as is often the case there will be some winners and some losers. By that I mean, some locations will pick up a good soaking with an inch or more possible, and others will receive little or no rain at all. Thus, the 50% chance of any one location receiving measurable rainfall.
By the way, the pattern aloft will be in what we refer to as a NW flow over the coming week which can often be an active period for our state. So, although we are currently going with a good chance of showers/storms for late Thursday and again Friday night, don't be surprised if rain chances creep back into the forecast in the following days as well. This type of flow pattern often pulls some real surprises, sometimes on a day to day basis making it difficult to have a lot of confidence in the longer time ranges. At least, this pattern also suggests triple digits are not likely to return during the coming week either.
So, stay tuned, stay cool, and check back for updates.