Tulsa and Oklahoma City likely to avoid 100-degree temperatures

Tuesday, August 10th 2004, 10:47 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Most of Oklahoma may avoid 100-degree temperatures this summer.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa have enjoyed mild summers so far with temperatures staying below the century mark.

This has only happened three times since 1938 for both cities, according to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

The last time Tulsa had a summer without 100-degree temperatures was in 1997. Oklahoma City's last summer without a 100-degree day was in 2002.

And both communities have a pretty good chance are making it into autumn _ Sept. 22 _ without 100-degree temperatures, said Derek Arndt, assistant state climatologist.

The average high temperature for Oklahoma City through July and August this year has been 89 degrees. The average high temperature in Tulsa was 88 in July and is 89 through the first eight days of August.

Oklahoma City and Tulsa have stayed below 98 degrees this summer. That temperature was reached in both cities on July 15 and Aug. 3, and again in Oklahoma City on Aug. 4.

Oklahoma City saw four days in July when the high temperature was in the 70s. Tulsa had three mild days, including a high of 72 on July 29.

That means extra business for Brian Barnes, general manager of Pearl's Oyster Bar in Oklahoma City.

Balmy summer days lets customers linger over lunch on the patio and sip a few more cocktails at dinner.

``It's been great for business,'' Barnes said. ``People see our patio and the great weather, and they just hit us. Our patio is a lot more full. I remember last year in August, it was over 100 like a third of the month.''

While people in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are enjoying the summer, north-central Oklahoma isn't seeing much relief.

Arndt said the hot spot phenomenon in north central cities like Blackwell, Breckenridge, Cherokee, Fairview, Freedom, Seiling and Alva may be linked to the state's winter wheat harvest.

The bare, dark earth absorbs the heat, increasing temperatures locally, Arndt said. The higher temperatures can generate a hot wind and aid in increasing temperatures in surrounding communities.

The area around Blackwell has long been known as the ``heat triangle'' said Tom Cannon, a fourth-generation farmer and rancher.

``We weren't quite as hot as we could have been,'' Cannon said. ``It has only gotten hot a couple of time.