A seemingly benign evening turned ferocious for some as storms blossomed across Green Country last night, bringing record rainfall to Tulsa. The 3.32" rain total at Tulsa International Airport broke the daily rainfall record – happening within the first few hours of the day. As much as that was, it paled in comparison to places like Skiatook where 6.32" fell – most of it within 2 hours! That's a lot of a water! Slow-moving storms fired north of Tulsa and trained over the same locations, creating a ribbon of flooding rains from northwestern Osage County into south-central Rogers County. The map above shows the rain footprint from the most recent storms.
Bird Creek near Sperry and Owasso are expected to crest above flood stage late Monday into early Tuesday. The notorious low-lying locations in these areas in north Tulsa County will need to be avoided. Remember: Turn Around, Don't Drown! The plus-side to the rain is that much of it fell over the Verdigris River Basin, allowing the oh-so-low Skiatook Lake to rise much closer to normal levels for the first time in months!
The rain/late night storms should be no surprise this time of year. Today happens to be my birthday and I've noted since I grew up in Tulsa that it would usually rain on or within a few hours of my birthday! Anytime we have northwesterly flow in the jet stream with muggy air in place this time of year, we are bound to see an episode or two of late night thunderstorms.
Those storms last night also brought some damaging winds. Numerous reports of downed trees, power, and even light poles came in from the Tulsa metro area. Winds reached speeds of 65 mph, causing the smattering of damage in the area. When it comes to rain this time of year, we should always be careful what we wish for!
Thanks to all of the additional moisture on the surface, we can count on a very muggy week ahead. The focus for thunderstorms shifts further south and west so we have some time to dry out. An isolated storm or two can't be ruled out any given afternoon, but widespread severe weather like early Monday morning is not anticipated.