Wednesday Morning Update

Wednesday, July 18th 2012, 5:16 am
By: Alan Crone

The heat wave will continue to grip the state for the next several days as afternoon highs soar into the 100 to 106 range.  A couple of isolated storms cannot be ruled out Thursday or Friday across extreme northern OK and southern Kansas but the chance is extremely low.  Heat warnings and heat advisories will soon be required for portions of the area. Numerous counties are included in burn bans across the eastern OK area.

This morning we did find some changes in the model data regarding the upper level structure of the atmosphere for the next few days.  A consensus of the group indicates the mid-level ridge may slide or reform to the west over the next 36 to 48 hours creating a narrow weakness or window for  a weak disturbance to brush central and southeastern Kansas and possibly extreme northern OK Thursday afternoon into Friday.  The NAM seems to be the most bullish on this possibility with the EURO adding some minor confidence to the solution.  Relative humidity plots during the late afternoon time periods for both days, however, would not support any significant chance of showers or storms. We've been mentioning this very slight possibility for a few days now and will keep the "ON-AIR mentions" but probably not place any pops on the main 7 day planner.  I'll make this decision right before air time.

The RAW NAM continues to offer some might hot temperatures for the next few days, and I'm inclined to lean into the high side after looking at yesterday's observations.  Southwest surface winds will increase today and tomorrow during the afternoon and the humidity plots in the afternoon will drop into the 30% or less range both today and tomorrow.  This will allow for a robust temperature climb.  And combined with the very hot air aloft in the 3 to 5K foot levels, these parameters would support readings from 103 to 106 today and tomorrow.  The Friday time periods for the past two days have features highs moving from 106 to 110.  Goodness.  I'm still a little unsure about going this high for Friday, but it's a possibility when looking at the recent 850 temp plots from the EURO.  Stay tuned.

Early next week the EURO is keeping the ridge mainly over northern OK and southern Kansas while developing a weakness across southern OK into the ArkLaTex region.  This may be enough of a break to allow a few showers or storms to impact these areas to our south, but I'll again be leaning toward keeping these pops off the forecast until we see higher confidence levels in the data.

Records for today:

111 from 1936

63 from 2009-2006

Normal high 94   Normal  low 73

Sunrise today: 6:20AM  Sunset tonight: 8:39PM