OK, OK, I admit it; I am a conservative guy. I am not one to go overboard but this weather pattern we are in is getting a little extreme. The temperatures you see on the forecast page, believe it or not, are likely on the conservative side. Would not be surprised to see some locations even hotter that what I have and I have never called for temperatures this hot before…..largely because extremes of this magnitude have not happened in the 18 years since I moved back to Oklahoma.
The meteorological summer is considered to be from June through August. So far this summer, we have had the second hottest June on record and the second hottest July on record, which places our summer to date as the hottest on record; even ahead of that brutal summer of 1980. Precipitation so far this summer is running as the third driest on record. Bottom line: we are too hot and too dry and the prospects for any significant changes are meager at best.
As mentioned this morning, the last time we had temperatures at or above 110 was in July of 1996. As you can see from the forecast page, I am calling for at least two days of that and as I mentioned above, that is a conservative forecast. Not only that, but we will be getting very little relief at night with overnight temperatures only dropping into the 80s for the urban environments and only slightly cooler for the rural areas.
The winds will not help much either as our winds will be very light and generally from a southerly component which will not provide much of a cooling breeze. Also, as I mentioned this morning, it appears that our surface winds will have a more SW component by Tue and Wed which is a down slope wind for us, adds a certain amount of compressional warming, and usually leads to our hottest temperatures. Wednesday could be a little more interesting in that a thermal trough appears to have enough of a push to move into the northern counties during the day which will shift our winds from SW to W and perhaps even northerly for a brief time. Depending on the timing of this wind shift, the compressional warming may be even greater than I am anticipating; in other words, temperatures could really soar.
Dew point temperatures have mixed out into the lower 60s for the most part this afternoon and are expected to remain in the lower 60s or even in the 50s for much of the coming week. That means the heat index and the air temperature will be very nearly the same due to the dryness of the air. That also means our rain chances are pretty much in the slim to none category.
Having said that, some of the numerical guidance is bringing a more significant boundary into Ks during the coming week so cannot rule out a slight chance of storms for the more northern counties. That could result in some outflow boundaries making it further south than what is currently forecast which in turn may provide a bit of a break. Don't bet the farm on that just yet though. Also, the longer range guidance continues to support the dominant ridge aloft retrograding further west by early next week. If that does indeed occur, that would place us into a NW flow pattern which is typically a wetter and somewhat cooler pattern. At this time, I am taking a wait and see attitude on that possibility.
So, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.