Thursday Morning Update

Thursday, June 21st 2012, 5:22 am
By: Alan Crone

A weak front arrives this morning with a chance of some showers and storms.  Mostly cloudy conditions are likely with highs in the mid-80s. Much warmer air is on track for the weekend. 

The only real hope for rainfall over the next 8 to 10 days will be occurring this morning through the midday time period as a weak cold front moves across the region.  The upper air support for this system is moving into the northern portion of the Midwest into southern Canada today and will leave our surface boundary will very little upper air support.  This means the boundary will become diffuse quickly allowing for a return of muggy and warm air quickly, but today we'll get a good break for the first real day of summer.  How ironic.  

The scattered showers and storms will continue to slowly move east and southeast this morning with very little severe weather threat.  A few storms pre-dawn may produce some wind but nothing significant is expected.  These morning showers and storms may begin to fall apart or move eastward soon before another chance of scattered storms will occur later this afternoon across southern OK.  The higher rain chances will occur this morning across the northern part of the state, and some folks may still miss out.

Northeast surface winds will stick around for this afternoon and for much of tomorrow before back out of the south or southwest by the weekend.  But the big feature of interest will be in the mid-levels of the atmosphere and will stick around for most of next week.  

Our ridge of high pressure is depicted by all of the model data to be strong and significant for this weekend into early next week.  The only think that may keep us from hitting 100 this weekend would be the green vegetation at the surface and the role of evapotranspiration into the lower atmosphere.  This will not last long, and temperatures will begin to warm into the triple digit range by the middle of next week.  

We do continue to see signs of a weak boundary " back dooring" its way into the state from the Missouri valley.  We call these fronts "back door" because they arrive from a different direction than we normal experience in the state.  This system may bring slightly drier air NE Ok Monday, but I doubt it will lower the actual temperature.  I actually think the highs may come up a degree due to the drier air at the surface.

I posted a few days back about the mid-level ridge and if would stick around next week or slide eastward.  The data suggest it will stick around, but if you'll recall, I felt the ridge would slide slightly west by the middle of the week and could allow a brief and small window of northwest flow impacting the extreme NE portion of the state by Thursday or Friday.  Let's hope this happens, because if the ridge stays centered up over the state, we're in store for some very hot readings for late June, including the possibility of some record highs.

Another fly in the pudding is a possible tropical system that may develop in the Gulf early next week.  This system would act to keep higher moisture content across the southern portion of the U.S. while slightly drier air filters into the central plains.  Dry air heats efficiently and this may also lead to more triple digits into the midweek period.

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