Thursday Morning Update

Thursday, July 19th 2012, 6:14 am
By: Alan Crone

The model data and observational data support some serious heat building into the region for the next 5 days.  Our only hope will be a small window of opportunity this afternoon and tonight for a few storms to move into southeastern Kansas and extreme northern OK.  The chance is around 20%.   

The mid-level ridge has reformed its center to the west-northwest of Tulsa and will support a small northwest flow aloft across NE OK for the next 24 hours.  A weak mid-level trough across the central plains will help to slowly push a surface boundary southward during the next two days.  Unfortunately these parameters will only lead to an increase of temperatures directly ahead of the front Friday due to southwest or west winds and compressional warming.  All week the raw NAM has suggested a high Friday approaching 110.  Ugh.  I'm not going to place the 110 on the map for Friday but I'll be pushing the temps into the 107 range, and it could be hotter! 

The NAM is very bullish in bringing storms into northern OK this afternoon.  If I followed this data completely, we would have a near 50% chance of storms with temps going from 104 at 1pm to near 98 by 5pm.  But with the current warm air aloft which will limit thunderstorm chances, I'll stick with a relatively low pop (20) and hope for a much better outcome.  If we do see any isolated storms today, damaging downbursts of winds will be possible.  

Temperatures in the 3 to 5f Ft level will also continue to warm allowing for a very hot weekend that will last into early next week.  This ridge will remain near northern OK early next week while the southern part of the state could be under the weakness allowing for some increase of low level moisture and a few scattered storms Monday into Wednesday.  This probability also will be very low and I'll not include any pops on the map for the early portion of next week. 

We can usually handle hot weather.  Temps from 100 to 104 are hot but it's something that we can manage with some smart planning, water, and some air conditioning.  But when temps begin going into the 105 to 110 range, it does make a big difference and can lead to some serious health issues if not attended too quickly.  The number one weather related killer during the last 10 years has been the heat.  Please check on the elderly for the next few days.  Make sure all livestock, pets, and people have plenty of access to clean, cool drinking water and shade.  Outdoor workers may seriously need to reconsider their working schedules for the next 4 days if possible by working from pre-dawn into the noon hour before quitting for the afternoon.  If not possible, mangers may need to plan for extended cooling periods between small periods of afternoon outside work.   

Yesterday's high: 103

Yesterday was the 12th day of 100+ heat this summer from Tulsa International Airport. 

The forecast, if it verifies for the next 7 days, would bring the total to19 days of 100+ heat so far this summer.