The extreme heat wave of 2011 continues with some all time record highs in jeopardy today and tomorrow. We expect the hottest readings of the summer again today and tomorrow, and we may come close to the all time record of high of 115 Thursday which was reached in August of 1936. Today's forecasted high of 112 will be a new record surpassing the high of 108 from this date in 1980.
A weak boundary is depicted by the last few runs of the NAM to sag into northwestern OK and extreme northern OK Wednesday night and Thursday morning before quickly retreating northward into central Kansas. This boundary may also make another run at the extreme northern OK area this weekend as the mid level ridge is expected to drop southeast near the Arklatex by Thursday evening into Friday. This would create a small window of northwest flow aloft that could brush southeastern Kansas and SW Missouri. The GFS data supports a MCS developing and moving across southeastern Kansas Saturday evening into Sunday morning, but it's doubtful that this feature will make it into the body of our viewing area. We'll continue to call for a slight chance of isolated storms Wednesday evening and Thursday morning across extreme northern OK and a slight chance of isolated storms this weekend.
The ridge is modeled to retrograde westward by early next week and this may offer some minor relief from the heat by allowing a few storm systems to brush the area next week. The difficulty resides in the delicate feedback mechanisms currently underway in our area due to the drought and heat wave. The models will continually under forecast the maximum highs and will usually attempt to break down the ridge faster than will actually occur. The sun angle is changing and we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel but in an historic heat wave, we'll wait until we see some real change in the observations before getting too excited about any change in the upper air data.
The Atlantic Basin now has Tropical Storm Emily. This system is forecasted to become a hurricane by Friday or Saturday and may be approaching the Dominican Republic tomorrow as a tropical storm and the east coast of Florida by Saturday evening as a hurricane.