More Heat

Monday, July 18th 2011, 5:21 am
By: News On 6

The excessive heat warnings will remain for the near future with highs near 103 in Tulsa.  An isolated storm may develop late this afternoon across extreme southeastern or eastern OK. 

 I wish I had some better news for us regarding the weather.  I don't.

The main upper level ridge is forecasted to be the dominate weather feature for the state for the next 5 to 7 days.  The position of the ridge is going to change some by the end of the forecast period by shifting eastward.  I don't think this will be too significant, but it may allow a weak system to brush the state by the end of the period.  But the flow on the back side of the ridge would be from the southwest.  This would bring slightly drier air into the region by Thursday and Friday.  Dry air heats efficiently, and would only increase the daytime highs by a few degrees.  Nice.  Just what we need. 

The EURO suggests another weak mid level system may slide across central OK Friday and Saturday, but I will refrain from adding any slight pops at this point. 

The long range data indicates the ridge may slide back to the west around Monday or Tuesday of next week. This would be a good thing and would allow the upper air from to be from the northwest.  A northwest flow is favorable for bringing storm systems into the state, but the thought of a northwest flow pattern in late July and early August is so abnormal that I don't have any faith at all in the model output data.  Typically the late July and early August period is dominated by the mid level ridge and brings nothing but hot air.  We can only hope and pray.

 I stated last week the La Nina pattern may be developing in the equatorial pacific.  The role of La Nina and El Nino is still not totally clear, but researchers continue to learn more every year regarding the complex oceanic and atmospheric connections.  La Nina is associated with cooler than normal water temperatures in the equatorial pacific while El Nino is associated with warmer than normal water temperatures.

 A La Nina pattern in years past has typically produced mild and dry winters for portions of the state.  There is no guarantee that a La Nina pattern is forming, and if it does form, there is no guarantee that a dry and mild winter would occur in the state.  It just doesn't work that way, but we can only work from past experiences in the state.