We're still expecting another hot afternoon today with highs in the 110 range, and there's a good likelihood of another very hot day Saturday before a minor break on Sunday. We're tracking some storms this morning across the state line in southern Kansas, and there's a very slight chance of a few storms today across the extreme northern third of the state.
The mid-level ridge of high pressure is flattening and moving slightly westward this morning. This will allow a weak surface boundary to slide southward this weekend and possibly pass the northern third of the state by Sunday. Some scattered storms will be possible Saturday evening into Sunday morning in the northern half of the state, but the overall chance will remain near or below 30% for most locations. Areas north of Tulsa will have the higher chance of scattered storms. A reminder that storms in this environment can produce damaging downbursts of winds on occasion. A fast and small pop up storm in Delaware County last night produced some wind damage.
The fire danger will be high today and possibly higher tomorrow in advance of the surface boundary with a veering flow allowing for compressional warming. This means the temps may be even warmer Saturday than our current forecast and the moisture content during the afternoon may be very low. Southwest winds at 15 to 25 mph would create a very strong wild fire spread condition and we'll be very close to Red Flag Warning conditions.
The entire northeastern OK area is under county wide burn bans, but Governor Fallin may impose a state-wide burn ban soon as the drought continues to worsen across the state. The latest drought monitor information indicates over 76% of the state is in extreme drought conditions and the entire state is considered very dry.
The extended data supports the mid-level ridge moving back over the region by the middle of next week but the temperatures at 5K ft. are not expected to be as warm as this week. We've been under 28 to 30C but data supports 850mb temps around 22C by next Tuesday and Wednesday. This would normally support around 101 to 102 for the high, but due to our very dry conditions, we'll be adding a few more degrees to the highs next week. This means highs will be around 103 to 106.
The NHC is tracking tropical storm Ernesto, but this system is so far away from any potential landmass impacts that I'll not post a lot of information at this point. And a point to make regarding Ernesto: There is absolutely no way anyone can forecast with any skill the possible impact or lack of impact that this storm may or may not have on the southern plains at this point in the forecast cycle. We'll have a better shot at forecasting the system in about a week IF the system is still on the map!