Notice the first map on the right. This shows the 24 hour change in temperature across the state courtesy of the OK Mesonet. You can clearly see how temperatures have dropped over the last 24 hours across the northern counties and in the NE in particular. You can also clearly see the warm-up that has occurred in the more central counties. Now look at the second map. It shows the winds across the state at the same time. The northerly winds are clearly responsible where cooling has taken place and the SW winds are clearly responsible where warming has occurred. These changes in the winds are due to outflow boundaries from storms that went through Kansas earlier in the day and those boundaries are expected to wash out this afternoon.
Even so, they may help set off some storms this afternoon or early evening before the main show arrives overnight. So far, all the available guidance continues to support a more significant wind shift line associated with an actual cool front arriving later tonight and during the early morning hours of Tuesday. This system is also expected to be accompanied by showers and storms, some of which will be severe with damaging down burst winds the primary threat. But, the chances of rain have also been expanded to 50-60% for much of NE OK so at least we should receive some beneficial rainfall over a larger area than the spotty storms of the recent past. Don't misunderstand, this will NOT be a drought breaking event, but will at least provide some short term relief for many of us.
A break in the heat wave is also expected over the course of the week. Triple digit temperatures were common except for the more northern counties today, but most locations will likely be at or below triple digits on Tuesday and may even be closer to normal for Wed and Thur when mostly cloudy skies and another chance of showers and storms is expected. After the storms end later tonight or early Tuesday morning, the afternoon hours should have partly cloudy skies, a NE wind of 10-15 mph, and afternoon temperatures in the upper 90s to near 100.
More clouds, a more E to SE wind for Wed and Thu, and better chances of showers or storms during the day should combine to keep us below triple digits both days and perhaps even near the normal value of 94 for this time of year.
Another frontal boundary now looks to be moving through a little more quickly than earlier thought and should be arriving late Fri or Fri night. That will bring another chance of showers and storms, some of which may linger through the coming weekend. It should also keep us below triple digits through the coming weekend and into the following week as well.
Dare I say it…..but, it certainly appears that a long awaited pattern change is underway. That is not to say that we do not have more triple digit heat in our future, just that at least some short term relief is on the way.
As always, stay tuned, stay cool, and check back for updates.