Archive for August, 2009

A Look Back, And A Look Ahead
August 31, 2009

As August comes to a close, lets look back at the month that was cooler and wetter than average:


After a seasonably hot July that produced nine 100 degree days, August was 1.7° below normal with no 100 degree days.  That 1.7 may not sound like much, but it’s a big deal.  The hottest day of the month was on the fourth when the temperature reached 99 degrees.  The coolest mornings were the 30th and 31st when the temperature bottomed out at 61 degrees.

The best part about August was the rain.  OKC’s Will Rogers World Airport recorded a total of 5.74 inches of rain which is 3.37 inches above normal.  Some of that rain fell as a result of severe thunderstorms that seemed more normal for May than August.  Believe me when I say I had more late nights in August covering severe weather than I did in May, but my lawn never looked better.

So what’s in store for September?  Here’s a look at a few things:

RICK1The average high temperature will gradually drop from 89 at the beginning of the month, to a more comfortable 79 at the end.  September can still produce some heat, and 100 degree days are not out of the question.  In fact the latest 100 degree day in OKC was September 30, 1977.  One of the reasons why hot weather in September is harder to come by is that daylight continues to decrease.  On August first sunrise is at 7:03 am and sunset is at 7:57 pm.  By September 30th, sunrise is 7:24 am, and sunset is 7:15 pm.

September can be a wet month, averaging out wetter than July or August with around 4 inches in a normal year.  Increased rain means more storms.  There is even a secondary severe weather season that can fire up during the months of September and October.



Hardcore Weather For Monday, 8/31/09
August 31, 2009

Today is the last day of meteorological summer which takes place during the months of June, July and August.  I know that according to the calendar summer still has about three weeks to go, but meteorology operates on a different timetable.  We’re rebels.  Our seasons are laid out in nice, even, three month intervals. 

So as we say goodbye to summer, it seems appropriate that our weather has been feeling more like fall the past few days.  Temperatures this morning have been in the 50s and 60s, and highs later today will only be in the 70s and 80s.  The average high temperature in OKC for late August is 90.

While I do expect a warm up this week, I don’t see any extreme heat.  In fact temperatures will rebound into the mid to upper 80s, staying a couple of degrees below normal as we go into the Labor Day weekend.

Today and tomorrow will remain dry, but rain chances will start to increase by Wednesday.  A few disturbances moving through the jet stream will bring a chance of hit & miss storms mid-week into the holiday weekend.  I don’t see any days being complete washouts, but you might dodge a shower or storm from time to time from Wednesday through Labor Day.

This is one of mu most favorite weeks of the year.  The start of college and high school football!!  I love it.  Weather for the high school games Thursday and Friday evenings looks fine.  Most areas of the state will be partly cloudy with a few showers or storms scattered about.  Game temps will be in the low 80s at kickoff.

For the Cowboys and Sooners games on Saturday, about the same story.  A low chance of a storm, otherwise partly cloudy with temps in the 80s.  Of course OU plays in Dallas at the new stadium so weather won’t be a factor either way.

Here’s today’s Hardcore Weather video:


August 31, 2009

Summer, it’s been here for a little over 2 months now and by the look of things, it’s barely making it into the month of September as morning low temperatures today were in the 50s and 40s across the state. Certainly a cool start indeed.. As we look back at August, a few things will probably stand out more than others. It was wet, way wet… for the 4th August in a row (going back to 2005), August experienced a wetter than normal month. August 2008 was very wet, and so was August of 2009 with Oklahoma City registering enough rain to put it almost 3.50 inches above normal. The rain was plenty and the heat was barely there as we did not see a single 100 degree temperature in Oklahoma City. (Southwest Oklahoma was not as lucky).Will Rogers World Airport was close to getting to 100, the hottest being 99 degrees on the 4th of the month.


Great Weather For Late August
August 30, 2009

Our high temperature today in Oklahoma City has been 77 degrees, which is comfortably below the normal high of 90 for late August. Today’s weather is more like early October. In fact, the average high in early October is in the upper 70s. And it’s not only Oklahoma, it most of the United States east of the Rockies. Take a look at this map of 4:00 pm temperatures:

RICKNotice the 60s in Chicago, Minneapolis and Buffalo. Very strong surface high pressure for this time of year is in place over the Midwest, and we are feeling its’ effects all the way here in Oklahoma. Here’s a satellite picture from the same time as the temperature map:


As the new week progresses, the high pressure area will move east, gradually loosening its’ impact on Oklahoma’s weather. Monday and Tuesday will remain pleasant, but temperatures will rise a bit more each day. By Wednesday, high temperatures will be near normal in the upper 80s to low 90s. We’ll also have an increase in surface moisture. With a few disturbances moving through the jet stream, our rain chances will begin to increase by Wednesday. Right now, it looks like the best chance of storms will come on Thursday.


Looking ahead to the Labor Day weekend, slim storm chances will remain in the forecast for Friday and Saturday, although at this point I don’t see a washout either one of those days. Sunday and Monday may still have hit & miss storms with highs over the weekend in the mid to upper 80s.


August 30, 2009

The severe weather threat will remain low for the next few days as high pressure moves closer to New Mexico.



August 30, 2009

If you stepped outside early this morning, one thing is for certain, it did not feel like summer at all out there as temperatures were able to dip into the lower 60s and even a few upper 50s out there. High pressure to the west will keep northerly winds in here which will allow temperatures to struggle to reach normal highs for this time of year, which is the upper 80s/lower 90s. Expect highs today to be in the upper 70s/lowers 80s.

A slight chance of rain will exist for those of us in Western Oklahoma this afternoon. However, the severe weather threat will remain in the low threat category.  Rain chances will increase again for Wednesday evening as a see another cold front trying to move into The Southern Plains. Expect that the rain chances will remain in the forecast for the 2nd half of the week.

So, what happened to summer? We’re getting ready to say good-bye to the month of August and while we have had our hot streaks in there, for the month, the temperatures have been almost 1.5 degrees below normal. It may not sound like much, but it really is when you consider the span of time we’re talking about here. The month will also go down without seeing a single 100 degree day at Will Rogers Airport, compared to what we had last August when we experienced 6 of them.

August 29, 2009

DamonHurricaneTropical Storm Danny is no more having been downgraded to a Tropical Depression this morning.  But, don’t think we’re in the clear now. As you can see by the graph, the heart of Hurricane Season is not that far away.

August 29, 2009

Where has the year gone? Hard to imagine that we are now headed into September. That means the likely hood of us catching high temperatures in the 90s appears a little less than it did during the month of August,  and by looking at the numbers over the next few days, the 90s may have a difficult time moving into town.

Highs today will reach the mid 80s, but a cold front north of here is moving in this direction, which means that by Sunday morning, many of us, especially north of Interstate 40 could be in the upper 50s. It’s not unheard of for us to see temperatures this cool in the morning during the month of August, it just doesn’t happen all that often.

Expect the cold front to lose some of it’s “umph” as it moves south which means that the effects will be short lived. However,we will still have some nice morning low temperatures, almost resembling fall, headed this way for Monday morning with lows possibly in the upper 50s.

Slight chance of storms for next week on Monday night mainly north of Interstate 40. Otherwise, a chance of rain possible for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.


El Nino Expected to Strengthen
August 28, 2009

The Climate Prediction Center has come out with an updated prediction on the El Nino event this year. In their opinion, El Nino will continue to get stronger as we head into Fall and Winter. Remember that El Nino is the warming of the equatorial Pacific Ocean waters off the west coast of South America. Though El Nino’s affects are debated, many believe this event has significant global climate impact.

Here are some excerpts form the CPC discussion:


A weak El Niño was present during July 2009, as monthly sea surface temperatures (SST) departures ranged from +0.5°C to +1.5°C across the equatorial Pacific Ocean, with the largest anomalies in the eastern half of the basin. A majority of the model forecasts suggest El Niño will continue to strengthen. While there is disagreement on the eventual strength of El Niño, nearly all of the dynamical models predict a moderate-to-strong El Niño during the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009-10. Current conditions and model forecasts favor the continued development of a weak-to-moderate strength El Niño into the Northern Hemisphere Fall 2009, with the likelihood of at least a moderate strength El Niño (3-month Niño-3.4 SST index of +1.0°C or greater) during the Northern Hemisphere Winter 2009-10.


Temperature and precipitation impacts over the United States are typically weak during the Northern Hemisphere Summer and early Fall, and generally strengthen during the late Fall and Winter. El Niño can help to suppress Atlantic hurricane activity by increasing the vertical wind shear over the Caribbean Sea and tropical Atlantic Ocean.

In the previous El Nino post, I explained what El Nino meant for Oklahoma. It normally means a cooler and wetter late Fall and Winter, though the El Nino event normally has to be at least moderately strong for us to feel any effects.

The NWS Norman office put together a few graphics that show how much more rain than normal we have seen in previous El Nino years.




We’ll continue to follow the El Nino event and post updates.


Impressive Three Month Rain Totals.
August 28, 2009

I made a graphic highlighting some rain totals from the last 3 months.  I took a few of the higher more impressive ones…and also grabbed a few less impressive totals.  The northern areas have certainly gotten plenty more rain than the southern areas but it has not been completely dry in southern Oklahoma either.  Here is a look. 


The totals were taken from the Oklahoma Mesonet Stations.