Heat Wave Continues.


Tuesday, August 16th 2011, 8:20 pm
By: News On 6


There are lots of different ways to measure how brutal this summer has been, and the map on the right shows yet another example. We are quite fortunate to have such a fine organization as the Ok Mesonet which provides a detailed look at a number of weather parameters across Oklahoma that no other state can match. On the right, we see the total number of days in which the temperature has been in triple digits. Notice extreme SW Ok where Grandfield was at 80 as of yesterday, make that 81 counting today. Here in NE Ok, we are generally in the upper 20s to lower 30s in that particular statistic. By the way, the long term average is 15 and yes we have had some summers with no triple digits.

Speaking of triple digits, we had just enough cloud cover to keep us officially below 100 today and we should be just below that level again on Wednesday. A weak frontal boundary looks like it will have enough of a push to make it to about the I-44 corridor around sunrise, then on south to near I-40 by the end of the day. Light N to NE winds behind the boundary should keep us in the mid-upper 90s under partly cloudy skies and with a slight chance of showers or storms. Ahead of the boundary, light S to SW winds will push temperatures well into triple digits once again and there will also be a slight chance of showers or storms.

After that, the boundary is expected to wash out or return north as a warm front. Our winds will be back to SE on Thu and southerly going through the weekend. That should be enough for most of us to be at or slightly above triple digits during that time period. Keep in mind that although the actual air temperature is not nearly as hot as we had at the beginning of the month, the humidity is more of a factor and the Heat Index will be 3-7 degrees above the air temperatures. In other words, hot and humid as the heat wave continues.

Also, the additional moisture together with a weak W to NW flow aloft will keep at least a slight chance of a shower or storm in the forecast on just about any given day. There are some indications that the upper level ridge may get stronger, but over the southern Rockies by early next week. If that does indeed take place, we may see a stronger NW flow pattern which should eventually provide a break in the heat. Not going to bet the farm on that just yet though.

As always, stay tuned, stay cool, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot