Another hot afternoon is expected with highs in the 99 to 103 range. The fire danger is elevated across eastern OK today. We're tracking a front that will bring a slight chance of storms Saturday evening into Sunday morning followed by noticeably cooler air.
The calendar reads September, but the weather pattern will remain "August" until Sunday morning. If all goes as planned, a nice cool down will occur early next week that may last for a few days. The wildcard: tropical storm Lee.
The afternoon high yesterday hit the 104 range. The readings today should be about 1 or 2 degrees under yesterday as the mid level ridge is beginning to slowly side westward. This ridge will be centered across New Mexico by Saturday evening allowing a cool front to move across northern OK Sunday morning and sweep southward through North Texas Sunday afternoon. The position of the tropical system will effectively keep the gulf moisture confined to the coastal regions. The air motion on the northwest side of this cyclone will be downward. This is called subsidence in weather speak and will keep the areas immediately northwest of the cyclone clear and dry. This means that some locations in Texas won't see a drop while others closer to the center and eastern side of the storm may be in a flooding situation during the next 3 days. The eventual outcome of the storm is very much in question, but the overall direction from the dynamical and barotropic data suggest the system will move across southern Louisiana and then become absorbed in the upper air flow as it moves northeast early next week.
Our weather will be mainly dry and not as hot for the first part of next week. The dry air will no doubt allow us to venture down into the upper 50s and lower 60s for some of the morning lows. But the dry air may also heat more efficiently than we are anticipating. At this point, I'm sticking with our numbers for highs in the lower 80s Monday, and the mid 80s by Tuesday and Wednesday. There is a chance we could be flirting with lower 90s again by the end of the week if south winds could return. The actual output from the extended models keep the surface ridge centered over the Midwest and circulates northeast or easterly breezes into the region through Thursday. If this scenario plays out we'll stay in the 80s for the entire week! I'll keep you posted regarding my thinking on this issue, but for now I'm very optimistic on a noticeably cooler air mass moving into the area next week.
Katia is a storm that no one can pronounce. It briefly dropped below hurricane strength yesterday but will regain its classification soon as it moves west to northwest. The storm is currently about 750 miles east of the Northern Leeward Islands. The GFDL-HRF- and others continue to grow this system into a major hurricane within the next 72 hours. The movement will continue to be on the southern edge of the sub tropical ridge to the north. This means the storm will stay north of the Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The major trough currently moving across the northern part of then nation will eventually play a role in the movement of the storm, but it's very unclear what will occur.
One scenario has the storm curving north as the trough approaches the east coast. This would keep the hurricane away from mainland US interests.
Another scenario has the hurricane moving south of the ridge and driving itself underneath the base of the trough. This would place the cyclone a favorable position to approach the Florida Keys in 7 days. At this point, there is no confidence beyond a 3 day forecast regarding the direction of travel. We'll keep you posted.