Archive for June, 2009

Mother Nature’s Fireworks
June 30, 2009

When I was a kid, summer had several benchmarks.  Memorial Day meant that school was out or was about to be out.  My birthday (mid-August) was the warning shot that school was about to start.  Depending on the school system, Labor Day was either the first long weekend of the school year, or that school would be starting the next day.  My favorite was the 4th of July.  Smack dab in the middle of the summer.  Since it wasn’t surrounded by school, there was plenty of time to plan.  In small town Missouri, almost all types of fireworks were legal, so I’d put on my own little fireworks display for the family, and dad would cook out and make homemade ice cream.    If I didn’t do the fireworks, there was always some big display set to music out at the local college.  We always had a lot of fun on the 4th of July.  Except when it rained.

This year, we will likely have some thunderstorms in the state over the 4th of July weekend.

graphic1A front will enter the state.  Although there’s room for this to change, it appears that the front will at least push through the northeastern half of the state, and might make it near/past the Red River.  With that front in the area, storm chances will go up.  The best chance for storms will be over eastern/northeastern Oklahoma.  There could be periods or waves of storms during the afternoon and overnight hours.  It won’t rain all day or all weekend, but there will be some storms around.  We are in that time of year where severe storms/heavy rain are always a possibility.  If you’re planning on going to the lakes this weekend, you need to be weather aware.

We will update you on the weekend forecast as we go through the week.



Severe Thunderstorm Watch Until 9pm
June 30, 2009

The OKC metro area is on the western edge of a Severe Thunderstorm Watch:graphic1


The watch will go until 9pm.  There’s one main boundary and several smaller boundaries that could focus thunderstorm development this afternoon/evening.  You can see the clouds start to build on the visible satellite:


You can see that line of cumulus stretching west to east across northern/central Oklahoma.  We could see a few storms fire along that with the heat of the afternoon.  The dewpoints are relatively low (lots of 50s).  With that dry air, the main threat will be damaging winds.  The chance for storms in the OKC metro area will be 20%.  Once the sun goes down, the threat for severe weather will diminsh.


The Other Side Of The Forecast
June 29, 2009

I want to start off by posting our current 7-day forecast (written early Monday morning).  Of course, you can always get this on the weather section of our website.  But, I want to make some specific references to it, so I thought this would be simpler for you:

graphic1For the OKC metro, the picture looks pretty simple.  We should see a warming trend through the week.  Highs will climb into the upper 90s and lows will climb back into the 70s.  The humidity will slowly increase, so the heat index won’t be much of a factor in the early part of the week.  By the 4th of July weekend, a front will slip in bringing a slight chance for thunderstorms.

For southern Oklahoma, today hasn’t been and won’t be dry.

graphic2The front that pushed those 100s out of here is located to our south in Texas.  We’ve seen showers and thunderstorms to the north of the front in northern/western Texas and southern Oklahoma. Grandfield has had nearly an inch of rain so far.  The best chance for rain with this front will be in southern Oklahoma today, then the front will push to the east.

I want to show you the other side of the forecast–take a look at what could go wrong with it.  The Tuesday-Thursday time frame at first glance would appear to be dry.  But, the pattern brings no guarantees.

graphic4You can see a slow, big storm to our east and the summer ridge of high pressure setting up to our west.  That brings us north/northwesterly flow in the jetstream.  With the center of the summer heat dome staying to our west, it becomes pretty tough to absolutely guarantee dry weather.  This upper air pattern is notorious for surprises, such as a complex of storms developing over the Plains and slipping south/southeast into Oklahoma.  If that doesn’t happen, sometimes fronts sneak in.  There could be one of these tomorrow.

graphic3How far into Oklahoma this front makes it remains to be seen.  And how much rain is still a big question.  Right now, we’re going with a slight chance for storms in northeastern Oklahoma.  We’ll have to watch this…some of these storms could slip into central Oklahoma.  As I’ve been saying, this dry forecast for Tuesday-Thursday is subject to change.  It still looks like the best chance for rain this week will come toward the 4th of July weekend when a front slips into the state.


Overnight Rains
June 28, 2009

We really haven’t seen much in the way of decent rain in OKC this month.  Not counting the rain this morning, we’re nearly 3″ of rain below average for the month, and nearly 4″ below average for the year.  The past month and a half haven’t been very friendly when it comes to rainfall.  And it’s starting to show up in the drought monitor:


You can see that pocket of moderate drought expanding.  We saw some rain last night, but it wasn’t enough to make a dent in this.


Ponca City saw over an inch.  We saw some heavier amounts scattered here and there across the metro.  Most who saw rain saw less than a quarter of an inch.

There will still be a few showers and thunderstorms this afternoon and tonight, primarily across southern Oklahoma.  Highs today will be cooler..ranging from the upper 80s to the low 90s.  We will gradually see temperatures climb during the week, with highs in the upper 90s by Wednesday and Thursday.

It looks like we will have a front in the area for the 4th of July weekend.  That will increase the rain chances and lower the temperatures a bit.  Right now, we’re keeping rain chances at 20%.  I wouldn’t cancel any plans…just keep an ear to the forecast.  We’ll update you on this through the week.


Sizzlin’ Saturday
June 27, 2009

The first half of the weekend will feature a continuation of very hot temperatures.

graphic1A Heat Advisory and a Clean Air Alert will be in effect for the OKC metro area through this afternoon.  The heat index will top out around 105.  Reaching 101 ties us for the hottest day so far this year.  Reaching 103 ties a record high last set in 1994.  It’s important to remember–the only thermometer that matters is the one at the airport.  Most areas in the metro were at or above 100 yesterday, but Will Rogers only recorded 99.

A cold front is moving through the panhandles this morning, and will move across the state tonight.  We will all turn cooler behind the front.  There’s some chance that OKC might not even hit 90 tomorrow, if we get enough cloud cover.  And, it will bring a chance for some much needed rain.

graphic2The best chance for rain will be along and behind the front late this afternoon through tomorrow morning.  Some parts of the state could get around an inch of rain.  In the beginning of the event, there could be some severe storms.

graphic3The best chance for organized severe weather will be across northern Oklahoma.  The main threats will be large hail and damaging winds.  Strong storms will still be possible to the south of this area.

Our summertime ridge of high pressure (the heat dome) will move to the west for a few days.  That’s allowing this front to slip in.  We will still be hot this upcoming week, but not as hot as this week.  As we get into the July 4th weekend, that high should build back in and the temperatures will start to approach 100 degrees.


Record High Saturday?
June 26, 2009

This week has been hot, but we haven’t broken any records (yet).    We came close to the record on Tuesday (record that day was 101, our high was 99).  Yesterday was the hottest day of the year with a high of 101.  Record or no record, we’ve certainly been above the average of 90 degrees.

The good news is that is the cool front that we’ve been talking about for Saturday night/Sunday morning is still on the way.  The bad news is that before it gets here, we should see the temperatures continue to climb.  Today will be a lot like yesterday.  But, I think the temperatures will spike on Saturday as the heat piles up ahead of the front.  Saturday’s record high for OKC stands at 103 last set in 1994.  There’s a very real chance that we will tie that record, and there’s also a decent chance that we could break it.  As Rusty mentioned earlier, the Heat Advisory has been issued to carry us through Saturday. 

After the front moves through, our highs will be closer to average late in the weekend (around 90-92).  We will once again be above average next week, but not quite as hot as this week.  I don’t see the summer-time high building in like it did this week.  Rain chances look slim, but looking at the forecast upper air pattern, I see where that could change over time. 


Heat Advisory For The Metro
June 26, 2009


OKC and the surrounding area is now under a Heat Advisory until 7pm on Saturday. This includes Edmond, Guthrie, Stillwater, Enid and Ponca City. Heat index values are expected to reach at least 105 both Friday and Saturday, an could be as high as 108. Highs will also be in the low 100s through most of the state.


A Look Back at the Highs Today…
June 25, 2009

It was hot! 



This Weekend…
June 25, 2009

Well the heat will continue for the next few days but we do have a little relief in the near future.  Triple digits are in store for Friday and Saturday,  but a cold front will be approaching the area. 


By Sunday,  we will have seen a cold front push through.  The  best chance for rain will be late Saturday into Sunday morning.  Southern Oklahoma may see rain into Sunday afternoon.  It will feel a tad less hot, with temps in the mid 90s! 





Yes, It Is…
June 25, 2009

4pm temp at the airport:  101.