The good folks at the Ok Mesonet provide a lot of useful information regarding the weather in our state and the two maps on the right are another example. The first map shows the vegetative greenness one year ago with the darker greens suggestive of moist soils and green, growing vegetation. The darker reds in parts of western Ok at that time would be due to the recently completely wheat harvest and the bare soils from that. The second map shows the vegetative greenness at the same time frame for this year. Notice that much of the western part of our state has not greened up at all this year due to the absence of moisture. Notice also that much of the eastern part of our state is not nearly as green as last year either and we are rapidly drying out. This all means that the drought continues to dominate and is spreading further eastward.
If we do not receive some general, generous rains soon, the fire danger situation which is now so problematic for the western half of the state may become an issue for the eastern counties as well. Unfortunately, our rain chances will remain in the slim to none category for the foreseeable future. A few isolated showers and storms will be possible for the extreme NE counties later tonight and perhaps again later Sat night, but that is the only place in the state that even has a slight chance. Elsewhere, look for lots of sunshine during the day, generally fair skies at night, brisk southerly winds, and much above normal temperatures through the weekend.
Daytime temperatures will be in the mid-upper 90s if not near 100 Saturday and Sunday and heat index values will be at or above 100 each day. The brisk southerly winds will provide some helpful ventilation during the day, but will also contribute to keeping us from cooling off much at night. As a result, overnight lows will only be in the 70s to near 80 with the warmest temperatures in the urban, heat island locations.
By early next week, a weakening frontal boundary will try to make a run at us along about Tuesday, but will likely stall out along the Ok/Ks state line. This will at least provide our more northern counties with a chance of showers/storms and may also provide a little more cloud cover elsewhere to keep temperatures below triple digits. Barring any surprises, that system will wash out and we will likely see triple digit temperatures for the rest of the week along with little or no mention of rain.
So, the heat is definitely on and will be for quite some time the way things are looking. As always, stay cool, stay tuned, and check back for updates.