The Heat Goes On, and On, And...


Saturday, July 9th 2011, 9:13 am
By: News On 6


The heat just goes on and on with little or no relief in sight anytime soon. The weak frontal boundary that came through on Thursday and provided the northerly winds and a bit of a break yesterday, is becoming diffuse. Our surface winds are from a more SE direction first thing this morning and will be southerly in direction for Sunday and throughout the coming week. Aloft, a ridge of high pressure will dominate keeping us under mostly sunny skies for much of the coming week as well. This all adds up to keeping temperatures much above normal for the foreseeable future.

Also, as you can see from the map on the right courtesy of the Ok Mesonet, dew point temperatures are in the upper 60s to around 70 first thing this morning. Those high dew points will mix out somewhat as things heat up during the day, but are expected to remain well into the 60s. That means the relative humidity will only drop into the 30% range during the heat of the day and the heat index will likely exceed the dangerous 105 level this afternoon.

This moisture together with the daytime heating and terrain effects will likely produce a few, very isolated, late afternoon/evening storms in the more terrain favored locations. Much the same can be expected for the next several days, but those cooling showers will be so few and far between as to only provide very localized relief. So, if you happen to catch one of those storms, count your blessings.

There are some indications of a weakness in the ridge aloft allowing a system to come around from the S and SW along about Wed or Thu. With that in mind, have introduced a 20% chance of storms, a few more clouds in the sky, and knocked a couple of degrees off the daytime temperatures. I know that is not much and most of us will still be dry and too hot, but that is about the best I can see right now.

In fact, looking at the longer range guidance the ECMWF is building the ridge aloft even more strongly than the GFS. The center of the ridge is expected to be shifting more into Kansas and if that is indeed the case, we are in for a long stretch of triple digit days and not much relief at night. Also, the prospects for any widespread, generous rains are not very promising.

So, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot