Archive for May, 2010

You Think It’s Hot Now.. Just Wait…
May 31, 2010

This past weekend, we topped off fairly warm out there. Upper 80s and lower 90s. Typical for July, but for May, our average high is usually a few degrees cooler than that. But, if you thought it was hot this past weekend, wait until you see what is rolling in here, possibly, this weekend.

This ridge of high pressure may be one for the record books… literally.Some of the weather models are bringing in triple digits by the weekend… if that were to happen, then we could easily set a record. For now, we’ll go a few degrees cooler than that, but know that as time gets closer, we may have to start bumping up those highs.

-Damon

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Hurricane Season vs. Oil Spill
May 31, 2010

The Gulf of Mexico just can’t catch a break these days. Lately, whenever you think of The Gulf, you think of a massive oil spill.  But, we may soon be talking about the oil spill, and…hurricanes! June 1st (tomorrow) is the official start to The Atlantic Hurricane Season. Typically, we don’t have to look very far off shore for tropical development in June.

Of course, this is also in the same area where we are dealing with one of the biggest environmental catastrophes of all time. So, what would happen if a tropical storm or hurricane moved into The Gulf of Mexico? Believe it or not, a hurricane may actually be a really good thing..kinda. Now, I know what you’re thinking..how could a hurricane actually be a good thing? Let’s assume that a hurricane forms in The Gulf and moves east of the oil slick as the graphic below shows.

The counter-clockwise winds around the storm would actually push the winds away from the shore, out to sea and thus, push the oil spill away from the coast and fragile ecosystem. The wind and waves would also help break up the layer of oil at the surface and instead, leaving smaller “oil droplets”. (Imagine shaking up a bottle of Italian salad dressing). Also, the heavy rain would help “wash” the wetland of the oil and perhaps helps move it back out to sea. That right there would be a “good” case.

Now, here is the worst care scenerio.

If a storm were to move west of the oil spill, then you could have the winds pushing the spill on shore and deeper into the wetlands along the coast. And, if the storm is strong enough, then the oil could eventually reach freshwater regions along the coast damaging the ecosystem there as wll.

There are, ofcourse, a lot of possibilities on what a storm would do if it formed in The Gulf of Mexico. And while the oil spill is an important news story, I think the damage done by a strong hurricane would create even bigger damage. So, pick your poison.. do you want a hurricane pushing the oil off shore (good), but creating tons of damage on shore (bad)? Or, a hurricane moving across the coast pushing the oil inland at a rapid pace (bad..and..even more bad) ? Sounds like a no-win situation to me…

-Damon

Monday’s Severe Threat
May 31, 2010

Just a slight chance of severe storms late this evening as we watch a storm complex form in Southeastern Colorado and move across Southern Kansas and Northern Oklahoma. These type of storm systems though can be difficult to forecast. The weather models can sometimes handle these quite nicely and other times, not so much. So, given the information we have now, here is where we’re thinking the best chance for seeing severe storms is going to be.

Hail, maybe the size of half-dollars and winds around 65mph are a possibility after 10pm.

-Damon

Oklahoma Gets Soaked! Sorta..
May 31, 2010

Last night, we laid down the “soaker” hose across Oklahoma. Which, is actually a good thing! In the last few months, we have been watching our rainfall deficit increase. Here is how it’s looking at Will Rogers Airport. (I realized that many of us last night picked up 2-4 inches of rain, the airport only received about a half inch of rain).Here is how it’s looking right now, including last night’s rain.

Nearly 3 inches below normal for the month of May is horrible! Why? Because it’s usually the wettest month of the entire year for us. And since March 1st, we’re nearly 5 inches below normal.  Some places around the state did do quite well last night. The map below will show you where.  But, it’s important to know that when we see the heavy rain like we did last night, most of it runs off into the area lakes and rivers. When we have a good slow rainfall, that usually doesn’t run into the rivers and instead, soaks into the ground. So, the heavy rainfall we had lastnight may have helped out your lawns some, but it played an even bigger roll in helping out lake levels.

-Damon

Are We in Trouble?
May 29, 2010

Are we getting ourselves into some serious trouble here in Oklahoma City? Perhaps! May, which is usually the wettest month of the entire year for us was anything but!

The month will likely go down in OKC as over 3.00″ below normal for rain. With La Nina setting up. which would mean a dry end to the year, we certainly need to be getting all the rain we can get right about now. But, there may be some good news towards the end of the first week of June.

Some of the weather models are showing a cold front making it south to The Red River by Thursday and Friday that could bring in some rain chances and a return to normal temperatures. Unfortunately, this far out, a lot can change. So, if you’re looking for a cool down… and some heavy rain. This may be our next “best chance”. We’ll monitor closely.

-Damon

Near Record Heat Arrives!
May 29, 2010

This may be the “unofficial” start to the summer season, but Mother Nature is acting like it’s already summer!

Being near a record in January is one thing, being near one close to June is another.

High temperatures this weekend will be very warm. Do all you can to try and stay cool… there may be some relief later in the weekend… I hope.

-Damon

The Holiday Weekend!!
May 28, 2010

Looks pretty nice actually, but HOT!!  Especially today and Saturday.  By Sunday rain chances will be increasing, especially for Northern Oklahoma.  There is also a slight risk for storms in that area of the state as well for Sunday.  Here is a look at the Oklahoma City Forecast but Keep in mind, if you are reading this from Woodward  to Clinton up to Ponca City, your rain chance on Sunday will be closer to 60%.

Sarah

Memorial Weekend Sneak Peek
May 26, 2010

This weekend looks pretty nice actually.  There is a slight chance for rain as we head into the latter part of the weekend but Friday through Sunday will be dry.  Monday will be the day that we will need to be weather aware.

Enjoy the weekend and stay safe!!

Sarah

Isolated Heavy Rain
May 26, 2010

Looks a bit unsettled to start the day in NW Oklahoma.  This is a snapshot taken at 7:50am.  This storm has been sitting over the same area for about an hour, not moving too much.  I checked out the mesonet and there has already been about a half-inch of rain near this storm.  I would not be surprised to hear about some localized street flooding here so be careful as you head out. Other than that, maybe some gusty winds, and lightning.

Sarah

Is La Nina Returning?
May 25, 2010

El Nino certainly gave us a lot to talk about this past winter. From the massive Christmas Eve blizzard to the Arctic cold and ice in January to temperatures remaining well below normal. But, signs are now pointing that the El Nino that left us all talking for months about the weather is coming to an end and that we may be transitioning to a La Nina phase in the next couple months. So, what exactly is La Nina? It’s the cooling of the ocean waters across The Equatorial regions of The Pacific Ocean.

So, how do the cooler temperatures in The Pacific Ocean impact us here in The United States?

La Nina usually spells trouble for some parts of North America and “good news” for others. The “good news” is that the Rocky Mountains will see more snow than normal. Good for skiing. Unfortunately, Oklahoma will be in the “troubled” spot. La Nina does not really impact North America until the winter time. So, having warm and dry conditions during our driest time of the year will likely lead to an enhanced fire risk and a less of a chance of seeing a White Christmas. 😦

-Damon