From Fires To Storms

As is the case this time of year, Oklahoma weather can change from one event to another in very short fashion.  We’ll see that in the next few days in western Oklahoma where they will go from a risk of grass fires, to a risk of severe thunderstorms.

Let’s start with the fire risk.  A fire weather watch has been posted for the western third of Oklahoma for Thursday afternoon:

Very warm to hot weather is expected with low humidity and gusty southwest winds.  Some parts of western Oklahoma will have temps in the 90s tomorrow afternoon, and fire conditions will be extreme.  It will not surprise me to see this area upgraded to a red flag warning by tomorrow.

The fire danger will come down a bit by Friday as a cold front slips into Oklahoma, but the severe weather risk will increase out west for Saturday and Sunday.  Here is the day 4 and 5 (Saturday and Sunday) severe storm risk area from the Storm Prediction Center:

The  thinking is the dryline will set up to the west over the weekend with a southwest flow in the upper atmosphere.  A few disturbances moving within the jet stream may develop some storms just east of the dryline which then could move northeast into western Oklahoma late Saturday and again Sunday.  Check these graphics out from the National Weather Service in Norman:

Thunderstorm chances in central Oklahoma will increase a bit by later Monday into Tuesday as a storm system moves out of the Southwest U.S.:

It’s that time of year when thunderstorms will become more numerous.  For some that’s a scary proposition, but we need the rain.  Here’s hoping we get the rain without any of the damage that can accompany rowdy storms.

Rick

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