Early Summer Heat Wave.


Friday, June 3rd 2011, 8:45 pm
By: News On 6


This has easily been the hottest day of the year so far for this part of the state, and although the more western counties were in triple digit territory, they have been much hotter already this year. The map on the right from the OK Mesonet shows the high and low temperatures for this Friday and temperatures are running way above normal from one side of the state to the other. At least we are not breaking any records and quite frankly we are not likely to.

Although this June is certainly getting off to a very hot start, June of 1911 was much worse. In the first ten days of June 1911, there was a string of 9 straight days above 100 and the month ended with a total of 18 days in triple digits. That was also by far the hottest June ever and fortunately we are not looking at anything quite that extreme.

Having said that, we are still going to be running 10-15 degrees above normal during the day as well as at night right on through the weekend and well into the coming week. We expect these kinds of temperatures in July or August, but this early season heat wave is very unusual and folks need to plan their outdoor activities accordingly.

Fortunately, the air has dried out somewhat as drier air aloft continues to mix down to the surface keeping our dew point temperatures in the low-mid 60s during the heat of the day. The dew point does rise overnight, but mixes out during the day as the moisture depth is apparently very shallow or as my Dad would say; knee high to a tall grasshopper. This does give us a break with respect to the heat index as the combination of heat and humidity is really not a factor and the heat index will be very near the actual air temperature.

This also means plenty of sunshine with only some occasional high level cirrus clouds, so plenty of sunscreen is recommended for the weekend activities. Another result will be the lack of any cooling showers as our rain chances are essentially in the slim to none category and quite frankly closer to none.

Our winds will be somewhat lighter as ridging aloft prevails and the pressure gradient at the surface relaxes somewhat. Look for southerly winds less than 10 mph overnight and on the order of 10-15 during the day.

As the week wears on, the dominant ridge aloft which is building over the state will begin to weaken somewhat and drift further eastward. This should allow for temperatures to moderate somewhat although still much above normal.

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

Dick Faurot