We would hope that after 3 months of relentless heat, we'd abandon it come September, but I'm afraid we're stuck with it a bit longer. Fortunately, significant relief is still expected this holiday weekend!
A cold front is moving down from the northwest, which should bring down our high temperatures nearly 20 degrees! With the stronger push of cool air, high pressure will move in behind the front, allowing the refreshing air mass to stay in place for the better half of next week. Not that we couldn't jump back to another triple-digit day after this week, but the chances of that drop significantly as we move into September. Shorter days and a strengthening jet stream will keep our temperatures in check.
Although the extreme heat may soon be a thing of the past, it will be much harder to shake this drought. Take a look at the map to the right. This latest Drought Monitor now shows nearly 70% of Oklahoma is now in the worst drought category – exceptional drought. Continue to pray for rain! I'll give my rain dance another try as well!
One other symptom of summer that isn't going away is the ozone issues in the city of Tulsa. We have seen a record number of Ozone Alert Days and exceedences in the Air Quality Index this summer. Our air quality has reached unhealthy levels for more sensitive groups of people for nearly two dozens days. Hopefully this problem will be remedied next week with a new air mass settling into the region!
As the summer season wanes (even if it doesn't feel like it) we move into the heart of the Hurricane Season. We are still watching Hurricane Katia way out in the Atlantic Ocean. Of greater concern is the developing tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. Most computer models show this strengthening into a significant system, which may sit for days just off-shore of Texas or Louisiana. They need the rain as well, but this could provide way more water and wind than they bargained for along the Gulf Coast. If your Labor Day plans take you to the Gulf Coast beaches, make sure you have indoor activity options at the very least.
Finally, high school football kicks off Friday night! Although football weather may lag the start of the season, things should cool off just enough to make the games somewhat bearable. Just be sure to drink plenty of water – that goes for the college games on Saturday as well!
For more updates on the summer weather, follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO!