Expect sunny conditions with some high clouds as temperatures climb into the lower and mid 90s. The heat index may be near 99 to 101 in some locations.
An ozone alert day is underway for the Tulsa metro.
The short term features a weak mid level disturbance moving northwest out of northeast Texas this morning. This feature is producing some cloud cover but currently no precipitation. We'll watch it carefully, but at this point no storm activity will be added into the forecast.
We continue to climb a few degrees regarding the afternoon highs. Yesterdays high near 94 was one of the warmer readings we've experienced in a while. The temperatures this weekend may level off around the 96, but the heat and humidity combined will offer temperature heat index values near 100 to 104. South breezes at 10 to 15 mph will help to keep things "ventilated" but the humidity and temperature may take a tool with some folks.
The main upper level ridge continues to grow and will be positioned over the state Friday through Sunday before sliding slightly southwest by Monday and Tuesday. Our easterly wave doesn't appear as strong as the past few days in the model data, but I'll keep a slight chance of isolated showers or storms in the forecast for areas along and east of highways 69-75 for early next week. This chance will be around 10% and we usually don't put these 10% pops on the 7 day graphic. This late afternoon and early evening storms will be few and far between, but a couple of storms seem likely with the expected weather parameters for early next week.
I don't think we're "locked "into the summer pattern just yet. It may look like summer on the upper level charts, but I expect the pattern to change a few times over the next 3 weeks. The end of this week will feature a southwesterly upper flow which will bring a disturbance near the state. And the pattern will change again by the middle of the following week which may feature a periodic episode of northwest flow aloft.
You may be surprised to discover our number one "weather related" killer in the United States is not tornadoes, or flash flooding, or lightning. More people, on average, die every year from heat than tornadoes, flooding or lightning combined. This year may be a little different due to the extreme number of tornado related fatalities, but needless to mention, the heat can cause death quickly.
The Chicago heat wave of 1995 killed over 700 people and the big hot summer of 1980 resulted in at least 1,250 people dying from heat related illnesses. Some areas of the nation are not as acclimated to the extreme heat. Our area is very much accustomed to the heat and humidity, but the early on-set of the high temperatures may catch some folks off guard. I will remind you to take some breaks this weekend and get out of the sun. Be extra vigilant for the signs of heat related illness and keep yourself and your family hydrated withy plenty of cool water.
Our friends from the National Weather Service have an excellent web page dedicated to the heat issues. I'll post a link here and will encourage you to read more in order to understand how heat related stress impacts our society.