Archive for May, 2009

Rain Chances Slowly Creep Up
May 31, 2009

A ridge of high pressure, or basically a little pocket of summertime has really warmed our temperatures up.  We saw 80s and 90s yesterday, and I’m thinking that temperatures will mainly be in the 90s today.  That ridge will slowly push away, and we will gradually watch the rain chances increase.  Here are the rain chances between now and Tuesday:



graphic3South winds will increase today to 10-20 mph, and over the next few days, you will notice that it will become more humid.  With the increase in cloud cover and the higher humidity, the temperatures on Monday and Tuesday will be a bit cooler than today, but there will be a trade-off…the heat index will be higher.  As you can see above, a cold front will move in Tuesday afternoon.  That front should increase the threat for organized severe weather.

graphic4Right now, it appears that hail and wind will be the main threat with the storms, but that could obviously change.  I really think the trickier part to the forecast will be Wednesday.  If the clouds hang tough, it could be a day like last Wednesday when we were stuck in the low 70s.  Right now, I’m going with the upper 70s for Wednesday afternoon based on seeing partly to mostly cloudy skies.  We will warm things back up for the end of the week.



The Last Day of May
May 31, 2009

As we close out May, I wanted to give you a few stats to think about:

Tornadoes:  This is typically the busy month.  Oklahoma averages 21 tornadoes in May.  This year, we had 5 tornadoes in May, all of them on the 13th.  For some perspective, we had 7 tornadoes in February (all of those happened on the 10th).  If you think 5 is low, go back to 2005 when we didn’t have any tornadoes in the month of May.

Temperatures:  Our coolest day was the 2nd when we had a high of 56, which came on a day where we saw over an inch of rain.  The warmest day of the month so far was yesterday at 89.  We are forecasting 91 for today, which would then end up being the warmest day.  The coolest morning was the 18th when we bottomed out at 48.  As of this morning, temperatures averaged 1.8 degrees below normal for the month. 

Rainfall:  We will end up with 4.54″ of rain for the month, which puts us at 13.28″ for the year.  Both of those numbers are .9″ below average.  Most of that rain fell in the first half of the month.

We continue with drought conditions across parts of western Oklahoma:



Those drought areas will have at least a slight chance for storms today and tomorrow, and a pretty good shot for storms on Tuesday.  For the rest of us, our best chance for rain will be Tuesday into early Wednesday.


Hurricane Darts
May 30, 2009

Predicting a hurricane season is like throwing darts. You’re pretty sure where you’re aiming, but you don’t know exactly where the dart will land until you hit the board.

An expert in tropical meteorology who has made a name for himself predicting future activity of hurricanes is Dr.William Gray of Colorado State University. Dr. Gray’s team (now headed by Phil Klotzbach) analyze numerous factors in coming up with the number of storms and the intensity of those storms when they put together of prediction for the Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Here’s their prediction for the 2009 season:
                                                                 Average Year              2009 Prediction

Named Storms                                            9.6                                        12
Named Storm Days                                  49.1                                       55
Hurricanes                                                   5.9                                          6
Hurricane Days                                           24.5                                       25
Intense Hurricanes                                  2.3                                            2
Intense Hurricane Days                         5.0                                           5
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity           100%                                   105%

Their prediction calls for an average chance of an intense hurricane making landfall along the U.S. coastline this year.




1) Entire U.S. coastline – 54% (average for last century is 52%)

2) U.S. East Coast Including Peninsula Florida – 32% (average for last century is 31%)

3) Gulf Coast from the Florida Panhandle westward to Brownsville – 31% (average for last century is 30%)

4) Average major hurricane landfall risk in the Caribbean


Here’s a snipet behind their reasoning for all you El Nino and La Nina fans….

“We expect current weak La Niña conditions to transition to neutral and perhaps weak El Niño conditions by this year’s hurricane season. If El Niño conditions develop for this year’s hurricane season, it would tend to increase levels of vertical wind shear and decrease levels of Atlantic hurricane activity. Another reason for our forecast reduction is due to anomalous cooling of sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic. Cooler waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are less conducive for an active Atlantic hurricane season.”


Sneak Preview
May 30, 2009

If only we could have had this forecast a week ago–over Memorial Day weekend!  This weekend will be dry for most of us.

graphic1The main storm track is well to our north.  You see that bump over us, that’s a ridge of high pressure that will warm us up this weekend.

graphic2As you can see, it’s going to be pretty hot today.  OKC will hit 90.  Our average high is 82.  Interesting side note–our average high doesn’t reach 90 until June 25th.  So, this truly is a sneak preview of summer.  It won’t be too humid today, so the heat index won’t be at play.  But, the winds will remain low–you always like a decent breeze on a hot day to stir up the air.

Temperatures will be similar tomorrow.  As we go through the weekend and into early next week, the ridge will break down.  This will allow small thunderstorm chances in the panhandle and northwest Sunday and Monday.  Better chances for rain will kick in on Tuesday.

graphic3That’s our next cool front.  We should see some showers and thunderstorms Tuesday night and Wednesday.  SPC doesn’t have us in a risk area, but whenever you have storms this time of the year, there’s always some potential for severe weather.  We’ll watch it for you…


Hurricane Season
May 29, 2009

June 1st, which is Monday, marks the “official” start to Hurricane Season.  If you have been keeping up, than you know that we have already had our First Tropical Depression.  TD #1 formed yesterday off the east coast and it is expected to dissipate before it becomes a Tropical Storm.  Winds must be sustained at 39mph for it to be a Tropical Storm.  When the area of interest is upgraded to A Tropical Storm, it then gets a name.  Winds must be sustained at 74mph or greater for it to be considered a Hurricane. 

Here is a look at the names for the 2009 Season.  The season runs through November 30th and peaks in September. 



A Top 5 Day…
May 29, 2009





I think so…but what do you think?



Another Cool Start…But This Time It Will Not Last All Day!!
May 28, 2009

Current temps are starting off cool…but to be honest the warm-up has begun already.  Here is a look at the current temps and the 3 hour temp change comparison.  The number on the yellow colored map is the number of degrees we have warmed up in the last 3 hours!! 




Highs today will be warm again…with lots of sunshine!!



VORTEX 2 Update
May 27, 2009

I just checked the VORTEX 2 Facebook page.  They went after some of the storms in north Texas last night.  They are hitting the pause button and are coming home for a few days.  That’s how quiet this weather pattern truly is.  They aren’t planning any new operations until the weekend.  Here’s the link to the VORTEX 2 NSSL page, which has links to their Facebook and Twitter sites:

When the storm chasers are bored in late May, it really says something…


May 27th or March 27th?
May 27, 2009

graphic1Above are the 1pm temperatures.  I’ve placed them over the visible satellite picture so you can see who is and who isn’t getting sunshine.  OKC is at 64.  Keep in mind, our average overnight low temperature is 61, so 64 at 1pm is cool for nearly being in June.  That northwest breeze at 10-20 mph makes it feel even cooler out there.  The sunshine in southern Oklahoma is allowing them to reach the low 70s.  Once we start to clear, OKC should reach toward 70 degrees, but won’t go too far above it this afternoon.  As long as the clouds are around, it will almost feels like jacket/sweater weather.


Today..and More Importantly…The Weekend.
May 27, 2009

A tad cool to start the day…temps were in the 40s and 50s in parts of Oklahoma this morning.  Highs will be in the 70s and 80s with lows back down into the 50s tonight. Enjoy the low humidity!!


This weekend will be much warmer…highs will be near 90 with the mugginess factor back!