Tuesday Morning Update

Tuesday, May 22nd 2012, 5:36 am
By: Alan Crone

We expect sunny and warm conditions today with highs in the lower 80s.  Warmer and very windy conditions will return tomorrow and continue through the near term.

A few showers or storms will be possible today across west central OK but these storms are expected to remain to our west.  

The surface flow yesterday afternoon ushered in some drier air across Northern OK behind the weak cold front that stalled across far southern OK and North Texas.  This dry air is still in place this morning allowing some morning temperatures to drop into the mid and upper 40s in the valley and outlying regions while the Tulsa metro will end up around 50 for a morning low.  This dry air will be replaced soon as winds return from the east and then the southeast later today.  Afternoon highs will move into the  mid-80s, but a more robust warm up will be expected during the Wednesday to weekend time period with highs moving back into the upper 80s and  lower 90s.   

The winds will also increase from the south at 15 to near 30 mph Wednesday through Friday as a trough of low pressure develops to our northwest.  Low level moisture will also be increasing during this period but current data would keep the dynamics of the trough to our west or northwest.  This means our storm chances will remain extremely low despite the return flow and increase in moisture.  

The latest and greatest model data supports a weak boundary sliding into central or southeastern Kansas late Thursday evening into Friday morning, but the front will stall and move back northward Friday morning.  A few isolated storms could float down into southeastern Kansas Thursday night late into Friday morning but we'll keep these out of the forecast at this point for Tulsa.

Yesterday's EURO and GFS data both offered some confidence in keeping a surface boundary to the north of the state, but also suggested the boundary would be close enough to add a mention for a few showers or storms during the Memorial Day time period.  At this point in the forecast cycle, we have decided to keep any significant chance of storms out of the graphics package for a few more runs to see if we get any run to run consistency in the data.  It would be very odd to not have a decent chance of storms in any 7 day period through late May, but this has been an odd May in every sense of the weather world.  May is typically the wet month across northern OK, but we've only officially received .15 inches of rainfall at Tulsa International where one could normally expect almost 6 inches of rain.  A look at rainfall for the year indicates we are now running a deficit of over 2 inches and with no significant precipitation maker on the map for the area during the next 7 to 10 days. 


Yesterday's high:  81

Today's average high: 81     Today's average low: 61

Sunrise today:  6:12 AM     Sunset tonight:  8:29 PM

Rainfall for May:  .15   Average May rainfall:  5.87


Today is the one year anniversary of the devastating tornado that hit Joplin, MO.  A tornado warning was issued at 5:17pm by the National Weather Service office in Springfield.  The tornado impacted the city just after 5:40pm on Sunday, May 21, 2011 with winds over 200 mph.  The EF-5 tornado resulted in 158 fatalities with over 1000 injuries and is considered to be the deadliest tornado on record since modern record keeping began in 1950.  The Joplin tornado ranks 7th among all deadly tornadoes in U.S. history according to the National Weather Service. 


 The deadliest tornado on record in the U.S. was on March 18, 1925. The "Tri-State Tornado" (MO, IL, IN) had a 291-mile path, was rated F5 based on a historic assessment, and caused 695 fatalities.