Notice the maximum temperature map on the right from yesterday and courtesy of the OK Mesonet. I mention that because temperatures so far today are running within a degree or two of where we were 24 hours ago, and as you can see the state managed to avoid triple digits on Wednesday. Although a few locations may see triple digits before the day is over, those should be relatively few and far between; particularly in comparison to late June and early July of this year or this time last year. It was about this time last year that temperatures started soaring to 100+ just about every day and although there are some parallels to last year, there are also some significant differences.
One of the parallels of course is how dry we are which feeds back into the heat as green, growing vegetation and moist soils helps to keep temperatures in check. One very big difference though is the pattern aloft. We do not have the monstrous death ridge as it is sometimes called sitting right on top of us with extremely warm air aloft and which stifles any shower development. That was the case at the end of June and was the case most of last summer.
So far this year, that dominant ridge was over us just for a short time and has now been pushed back further west. It will try to re-exert itself over the coming days, but there are no indications it will reach the intensity and dominance which plagued us last year. In fact, the guidance coming in so far today suggests a general weakness aloft will be located just to our E and SE and should meander around enough over the coming week for at least a slight chance of a shower/storm on just about any given day. The more terrain favored locations in the more E and SE counties would be the most likely locations, but a storm could form just about anywhere as has been the case over the last few days. Granted, this will not do much to alleviate the drought, but the somewhat cooler temperatures aloft will help keep temperatures from reaching the extreme levels we saw last summer at this time.
So, the bottom line is the heat continues with temperatures running well above average, but at least not at the extreme levels we saw last summer. Also, although the chances are very slim, there is at least a possibility of a shower/storm on just about any given day. If you happen to catch one of those, count your blessings. By the way, any storms that do form will be capable of dropping some heavy rains in a short time as they will move only very slowly and also capable of localized strong and gusty winds.
In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.