After one final encounter with triple-digit temperatures, the summer of 2011 is finally becoming a thing of the past. This final round of summer-like heat brought Tulsa to 44 days of triple-digit temperatures for the year. This is still 21 days behind the record set back in 1936, but extremely impressive considering we average only 9 days of that sort of heat per year. 44 days of triple-digit heat is a walk in the park compared to southwestern Oklahoma. Check out the map to the right. Grandfield, OK had a whopping 101 days with 100° temperatures! Triple-digit days with triple-digit heat… I can only imagine how rough that would be!
The heat has now fled the region. In fact, we are doing a complete 180° with our temperatures. Are you ready for highs in the 60s?! A strong push of colder air is moving into the region. That combined with an upper-level disturbance bringing clouds and rain will keep temperatures almost 40° cooler than Tuesday during the day Thursday. If you haven't already, break out those jackets! Despite some drier air at the surface, hopefully the rain jackets will be the outerwear of choice over the next several days. Rain may not be heavy, but we could see off and on periods of it into early next week in fact. This is welcome news amidst the terrible drought here in the Southern Plains.
Could the heat and dry weather return? It could, but 100° temperatures are very unlikely by this point in the year. A more active jet stream continues to develop and inch southward with time. That puts Oklahoma more in line with storm systems that usually bring rain and progressively cooler temperatures. However, with a resurgence of La Niña, the drought may persist for quite some time.
In the meantime, enjoy the fall-like weather!
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