Notice the map on the right courtesy of the OK Mesonet. This is the total number of days with triple digit temperatures so far across the state. The gradient from NE to SW is quite evident as a number of locations in extreme SW Ok are well into the 90s and although our corner of the state has been excessively hot as well, most locations are only into the 30s. Just another way of illustrating how extreme this summer has been. By the way, for those folks in Central and SW OK, those are all time records in that particular category.
Fortunately, after today the pattern is changing and those numbers are not likely to go up any more; at least not through the coming week. Today will be another miserably hot one with mostly sunny skies and another run at triple digits. Here in NE OK, we will probably come up a little short in that regard, but it will be close with upper 90s widespread and a few triple digits mixed in for good measure.
Then, the long anticipated cool front will be pushing across the state during the morning hours of Sunday which will be followed by gusty northerly winds and much cooler conditions. Ordinarily, a change of this magnitude would also be accompanied by widespread showers/storms, but unfortunately that does not appear to be the case this time. The reason is Tropical Storm Lee in the northern Gulf of Mexico is keeping the deeper, richer moisture down there. As a result, they will be experiencing torrential rainfall and flooding but we will only have a 30% chance of showers or storms for late tonight and into the morning hours of Sunday. By afternoon, the mostly cloudy skies should be clearing out to be followed by bright sunny skies in time for Labor Day itself on Monday.
More significantly will be the break in the persistent, excessive heat we have endured basically since the last of May. Northerly winds of 15-25 mph and mostly cloudy skies for much of Sunday will hold the afternoon highs into the lower 80s and some locations may not even make it to 80. Those winds will make it feel even cooler considering what we have become accustomed to. Those winds will also bring even drier into the state and the low humidity levels together with the strength of the winds will also lead to a high fire danger.
After that, the week ahead looks quite pleasant. The upper level pattern will be blocked keeping any more systems from coming our way for quite some time. Surface high pressure will dominate but from a more northerly latitude keeping us under a general NE wind pretty much all week long. That will translate into bright, sunny skies during the day and clear skies at night. Temperatures will range from the upper 70s and lower 80s to begin the week to the mid 80s by weeks end for daytime highs. At night, the clear, dry conditions will result in morning lows in the 50s; quite a contrast to the first day of September when we started the day at 82.
So, hang in there for one more day as relief is on the way. In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.