Heating Up!

Saturday, May 7th 2011, 8:28 am
By: News On 6

Thought you might like to see what the upper level pattern is expected to look like by Wednesday morning. The reason being that our next good chance for storms is likely to be during the day Wednesday and perhaps into the day Thursday. In Alan's excellent discussion Friday morning, he mentioned the next storm system will be approaching along about Wednesday and the map on the right shows what that pattern should resemble by then.

The map is showing the wind flow at approximately 18,000' or so and also where there will be concentrated pockets of energy aloft. Notice that we will have a SW wind aloft by that time with stronger systems in the northern Plains and also in the southern Rockies. This is a favorable pattern for storms to develop in Oklahoma and some will likely be severe. The system in the southern Rockies is expected to move across the state Wed night and Thursday which would be the most likely times for storms. Of course, that is assuming that this projection is correct and there are some differences in the longer range models so this timing is still somewhat uncertain.

In the meantime, the pattern aloft will be transitioning from a NW flow aloft to the SW flow which also indicates ridging aloft is becoming more dominant. This in turn usually indicates mostly sunny skies and above normal temperatures which is exactly what we are expecting for the next several days.

At the surface, brisk southerly winds this morning will be diminishing somewhat this afternoon as a weak boundary makes it into the northern counties and becomes diffuse. After that, gusty southerly winds can be expected through Wednesday. This will result in much warmer than normal temperatures along with summer-like humidity levels as dew point temperatures will be well into the 60s. This combination of heat and humidity results in an unstable atmosphere during the afternoon hours, but a layer of warm, dry air aloft is expected to suppress storm development. That is not to say that an isolated storm or two will not occur, just that the chances are less than 20% until Wednesday when conditions aloft become more favorable.

Also, look for much above normal temperatures through Wednesday followed by a return to more seasonable temperature levels for the latter part of the week.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot