The Heat Goes On, But Relief is on the Way!

Tuesday, August 30th 2011, 3:30 pm
By: News On 6

I have referenced maps and data from the OK Mesonet on numerous occasions and the map on the right is another example of how fortunate we are to have such a valuable organization in our state. Timely, accurate weather data on the scale and with the kind of detailed analysis they provide is just not available in any other state. The map on the right shows the total precipitation for this calendar year across Oklahoma. As dry as we are here in E OK, we are in much better shape than our western neighbors where some locations have received less than 4" for the entire year.

The kind of relief that is needed to break this drought would require days of widespread, soaking rainfall and that just does not appear to be in the cards anytime soon. However, we are still tracking a break in this brutal summer heat wave and that still looks to be on track to arrive during the latter part of the weekend.

Between now and then, we still have several more days of temperatures at or above triple digits. What few showers there were this morning have moved on eastward but the residual cloud cover and slower temperature response will be enough to keep most of us below triple digits this afternoon. Wed is expected to see even fewer cooling showers, although they cannot be completely ruled out, and afternoon temperatures near triple digits for most of us.

Thursday and Friday now look to be the hottest days of this week with more sun, brisk S to SW surface winds, and temperatures that should be at or above 100 for most locations. Our nights will be quite warm as well as overnight temperatures will be running in the mid-upper 70s and the urban environment may not get below 80 for a few mornings.

Earlier in the week, it looked like deeper moisture from the Gulf of Mexico would be working its way up here providing more clouds and a chance of showers or storms by Friday. The latest model runs are in pretty good agreement that a tropical system will be developing in the NW Gulf of Mexico by late this week and that will act to keep most of the moisture down there. That will also result in higher temperatures and little or no mention of rain for Friday and Saturday as compared to what we were seeing just a few days ago.

However, the longer range guidance is still showing a more significant cool front to arrive by Sunday. In fact, the model agreement at this time range is quite good and suggests the front should be arriving during the morning hours of Sunday. The timing may yet change, but the bottom line is we are finally starting to see a change in the pattern which we expect will result in a very noticeable cool down during the day Sunday and pleasantly mild conditions for Labor Day and several days after that. Sunday also looks to be our next best shot at showers and storms.

So, hang in there, relief is on the way. In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot