Heat Wave with Near Record Breaking Temperatures.

Saturday, July 28th 2012, 10:21 am
By: News On 6

For those of you who are like I am and missed out on the rains Thursday, notice the maps on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. The top map shows the rainfall from that event and the amounts were pretty generous for some lucky folks. That also leaves what we refer to as a rain footprint which shows up quite well in the high temperature map from yesterday which is the lower map on the right. Notice the daytime highs in the areas that received the most rain were generally below triple digits while the rest of us were well above triple digits. It will be interesting to see how long that rain footprint can hold out against a building heat wave over the next few days.

In fact, for those of us who missed out those beneficial rains, that building heat wave means we are looking at near record breaking temperatures starting today and for at least the next several days. As was stated earlier in the week, this still looks to be the hottest week of the year. Ridging aloft will be building back over the state suppressing most of the cloud cover so we will have nearly full sun each day. At the surface, light southerly winds will become a little more SW, particularly by Monday and Tuesday. A westerly wind component is a downward wind component which means there will be some compressional warming. Also, a westerly wind component usually brings drier over us which means few if any clouds and therefore our hottest temperatures usually occur under those conditions.

If it is any consolation, at least the heat index will not be much of a factor, if indeed any at all. Dew point temperatures will be mixing out into the 50s to near 60 during the heat of the day. The result is relative humidity levels which will be dropping to 20% or perhaps even less during the hottest part of the day. Of course, the flip side of that is that the lower humidity levels worsens the fire danger and also contributes to even higher evaporation rates. Air quality may be an issue each day as well.

Another factor is there will be little relief at night. Overnight lows will probably not get below 80 for the urban environment anytime soon and we may set some records in that category as well.

Is there any relief in sight. Yep, along about October. Just kidding, just kidding. Actually, there are indications the ridge aloft will break down somewhat by this coming weekend and with that in mind, have trended the daytime highs down somewhat. Also, the longer range guidance has a weak qpf signal so a few isolated showers/storms will be possible as the week progresses, but the chances of any one location receiving measurable rainfall is less than 20% on any given day.

So, hang in there, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot