Thursday Morning Update

Thursday, July 26th 2012, 6:14 am
By: Alan Crone

I'm watching a few showers and storms this morning located to the northwest of Tulsa.  Most of this activity is expected to gradually decrease during the next few hours before additional storms attempt to develop this afternoon and early evening as a weak boundary approaches the area.  There will be a slight chance of a few storms in Tulsa this morning, but the higher chances will be later this afternoon.    

Temperatures today are still expected to be in the upper 90s to 102 area wide.  The fire danger will remain high today across the eastern and southern sections of the state before a small break occurs tonight into early Friday morning.  A few of the storms tonight may be severe with damaging down bursts of wind possible.  A storm located near Mays Ranch in far northwestern OK produced a 94 mph wind gust yesterday afternoon at 5:40pm.  A few of our storms tonight may also produce strong to severe winds due to the thermal and moisture profile of the atmosphere. 

The main short wave aloft will also driving a potent complex of thunderstorm activity from the Midwest into the northeastern part of the country later today.  Over 32 million people are in the path of the possible severe weather that could disrupt power and delay air travel for a large portion of the highly populated areas.  If you are planning to fly anywhere in the country today, I would encourage you to remain aware that these storms could have a major impact on airline schedules later today. 

A few showers or storms may continue through the overnight hours across southern OK before weakening early Friday morning.  Areas along and south of I-40 will have the best shot Friday.  We'll see highs Friday in the upper 90s to near 101 before triple digit readings return area wide into the weekend.  There will be a possible "rain foot print" that may limit the highs a few degrees in some locations, but at this point, we'll keep the weekend hot with the triple digit weather across the board. 

The EURO is suggesting a possible weakness in the developing mid-level ridge for early next week.  This means some isolated storms will be possible across far NE Ok and NW Arkansas on a daily basis but the odds of scattered storms in the Tulsa metro will be very low.  After tonight's system, I will keep the pops off the map for the remainder of the forecast period, but we may be changing this during subsequent forecast cycles.  

The temps at the 3 to 5K ft. level are expected to soar across western OK early next week with readings near Tulsa expected in the 20 to 24C range.  This could create highs around 105 Monday and Tuesday.  If the hot temps aloft migrate just a hair eastward, we may see some more 105 to 110 readings.  At this point in the forecast cycle, we'll keep our highs below 105 for the period.  

Yesterday was the 18th day of 100+ weather this summer for Tulsa, with 9 consecutive days of 100's.  Some locations in the viewing area have experienced over 24 days so far this summer of 100+ temperatures.   

The drought continues to intensify and will not loosen its grip on the state, even with some scattered storms tonight and early Friday.  Some locations may pick up 0.5 to near 1 inch with strong storm cells, but most locations that do receive storm activity ( not all locations) will tally around .20 to .30 inches of precipitation.   

Tropics:  The layer of Saharan dust is still present over most of the Caribbean and tropical development in these areas will not occur during the next few days.  There is a disturbance in the higher latitudes of the Atlantic that could become a true tropical system, but it would not have any direct impact on mainland U.S. interests.