Excessive Heat Warnings!

Saturday, July 9th 2011, 7:45 pm
By: News On 6

This heat is starting to get oppressive and unfortunately, the forecast is not calling for any relief to speak of anytime soon. Since we started heating up at the end of May, there have been only 3 days that were at or below normal and only one day in which the maximum temperature was below 90. That is getting too hot too soon and is contributing to water quality issues, air quality issues, and fire danger issues not to mention the danger of the heat itself.

In fact, excessive heat warnings are in effect for many counties through the day Sunday and may be extended beyond that. Basically that means the heat and/or the heat index will be at or above 105 during much of the day and there will not be much relief at night with minimum temperatures only dropping into the mid-upper 70s. This can easily lead to heat related illnesses.

Along with the heat comes an expansion of the drought conditions and the map on the right from the Ok Mesonet shows the percentage of normal precipitation that has been received so far this year. Notice that only portions of far E Ok have received normal moisture so far this year and most of that was in April and early May.

For now, the best we can hope for is a few popcorn late afternoon and early evening shower or storms, particularly in the more terrain favored locations. But, those will only provide brief, very localized relief with an areal coverage of no more than 10% at best. However, there is a glimmer of hope along about Tue into Wed that a few more showers or storms may pop up and I have brought the chances up to 20% for that time frame. A weak tropical wave is moving through the NW Gulf of Mexico at this time and will eventually move across Texas and into Oklahoma. This is a very weak system and does not have much moisture to work with, but should provide a few more clouds and hopefully a few more showers or storms before it moves on east of us. With that in mind, I have trimmed temperatures back a few degrees as well, but it still looks like we will be in triple digits.

In fact, the longer range products continue to project the upper level ridge that is largely responsible for these hot, dry conditions will meander around close to the state. That will likely keep us too hot and too dry for not only the coming week but quite likely into the following week as well.

In the meantime, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot