Archive for June, 2011

KOCO Heat Burst
June 29, 2011

I knew today was going to be a fun one when I saw storms moving out of Northwestern Oklahoma and moving toward OKC. Rain is a good thing! But, sometimes you experience a rare weather phenomana that you don’t realize is happening until you’re midway through the event and realize something doesn’t look right. What am I talking about? Check out the pic below:

Most often, we scoff at a 92 degree temperature here in Oklahoma. But, in this case, check out the timestamp. 92 degrees at 6:44am! Even more impressive, is that it was 71 degrees about 45 mins. before! So, how did this happen? It was a HEAT BURST! Heat bursts are a rare weather phenomenon that is characterized by an increase in winds ( 49 mph), a rapid increase in temperatures ( 71° to 92°) and a sudden drop in dew point temperatures. Our weather station here wasn’t recording dew points at the time, so I had to grab a meteogram from North OKC.

Notice the top graph that is showing temperatures and dew points ( the green and brown colors). Notice how the green line drops as the brown line sores. That would be the dew point dropping helping to prove that it was indeed a heat burst. So, how do we forecast heat bursts and how do we know what they look like? Seeing a heat burst on radar is quite difficult because it simply looks like a light rain shower. The only way we know for certain that a heat burst is occuring is to have a weather station right underneith or nearby. Fortunately, we had one here at the station.

Other notable heat bursts in Oklahoma have been documented as far back as 1909 when in Cherokee a heat burst caused temperatures to reach 130° at 3:00am desiccating crops in the area. In 1996, a heat burst allowed temperatures to go from 87 to 101 in 15 mins in Chickasha with a wind gust of 95 mph. And earlier this month in Wichita, a heat burst allowed temperatures to go from 85 to 102 from 12:22am to 12:42am.



First Tropical Storm Of The Atlantic Season!
June 28, 2011

The name is Tropical Storm Arlene, and it has formed in the Gulf Of Mexico  The center of circulation is about 280 miles ESE of Tampico Mexico.  Winds are sustained at 40mph and it is pushing WNW at 7mph.


This storm is expected to stay a Tropical Storm so winds are expected to stay under 74mph.  Landfall is expected to be Thursday afternoon.  The biggest threat is heavy rain and flooding.  Far Southern Texas may see heavy rain associated with this system.



Rain Totals Today, and Chances Tonight
June 28, 2011

Some of us got a good dousing today!  Some places even an inch or so!


This rain was with a front that is lingering across the state.  The front will push north tonight and give us another good chance for rain.
Some strong storms possible too, especially in NW Oklahoma.


Holy Dewpoint Depression!
June 28, 2011

We know that up until today in Oklahoma, it’s been hot and dry. But, check out these stats from Las Vegas that were taken yesterday around 4:30pm.

Yes, it was hot, but it’s Vegas, it’s always hot. And, it’s usually dry, but not this dry! Check out the dew point temperature, ­­-22° ! That’s right…. ­-22°! The difference between the air temperature and the dew point is known as the dew point depression. In Oklahoma, we consider it to be dry when our dew point depression is around 40 degrees. But, in this case, the dew point depression in Vegas reached 129 degrees! 129 DEGREES! With an air temperature of 107° and a dew point of -22 degrees made for an all time record dew point depression that made the relative humidity less than 1%. The previous record dew point depression was 120 degrees. But hey, with the dry air, the heat index was only 97°. If you’re a weather nut like me, then this right here may be the coolest stat you’ll ever find.


The Streak Continues!
June 27, 2011

One month ago today, we started a journey that we may not have been thrilled to start. It was day #1 of above normal temperatures. And since then, we have yet to go back back as every single day has experienced warmer than normal conditions. Yesterday marked the 31st straight day of above normal temperatures. There was one day that came close to being considered “normal”, which was June 21st when our high of 95 and low of 62 averaged out to be 1° above normal. Since then, it’s been a battle to get those temperatures down and the outlook this week doesn’t look pretty. Because every day is forecasted to be anywhere from the mid 90s to the lower 100s, that will mean our morning low temperatures would need to drop into 50s just to bring our average temperature to normal. Don’t count on that happening!


-Damon Lane

Ready for More Heat?
June 27, 2011

We are now heading out of June and by the looks of it, this could be the hottest week Oklahoma City has experienced so far. That is, if this cold front that is moving through as we speak does something that the weather models are not expecting it to. Check out the record highs for this week:

Certainly some impressive record high with the “coolest” record high being 102°. Yesterday morning, the weather models were thinking that the front moving in today was going to arrive much later in the afternoon and perhaps send our records close to or exceeding the all-time June high. Fortunately, the front is moving a bit faster and will prevent us from hitting 107°. But, by the end of the week…we get rid of the front…and this happens:

The front moves out and high pressure bounces back this way towards Oklahoma, literally right overhead late Wednesday/Early Thursday. That means our weather will return to being hot after a comfortable “cool down” for Tuesday. Those records for Thursday and Friday could fall. When will it ever end?


The Drought: Then & Now
June 27, 2011

I have done a gazillion and one blog posts about the drought. But, this one here may be my favorite. And, it’s one of those blogs where the picture does all the talking. I grabbed 2 high-res satellite image of Oklahoma. One that was taken a year ago yesterday, and then one that was taken yesterday. If you recall, the winter of 2010 and the spring of 2010 were very wet for Oklahoma. And, if you were in space looking down, this is how Oklahoma looked:

Now, look at the same part of Oklahoma, taken yesterday… what looks different?

What happened to all the greenery? If you weren’t sure just how bad the drought now is in Western/Southwestern Oklahoma, then this right here should tell you perfectly. The drought doesn’t get any worse than this. Breaking down the state into regions, this is how the rainfall this year ranks compared to other years:

We need a tropical storm… now!


8 100’s!
June 26, 2011

We are one away from a Tie!  I am pretty confident we can beat it this week, but do we really want to beat this record?  The record for the most 100 degree days in June?  Probably not. The record is 9 set back in 1933.


Hollis also got up to 115 today, this is the first time we have seen temps this hot in the state since July of 2009.  It is not a state record though, that is 117, set back on June 14, 1953.  Not out of the question to see that tomorrow depending on the timing of the next front.  Heat advisories continue.



Here are some tips that you probably already know, but I feel better making sure it is reiterated.




100’s And Counting
June 24, 2011

Well today was the 6th 100 degree day, so far this year and for the month.  This ties us for 5th for the most triple digit days in June. The most ever recorded in June was 9 back in 1933.

If we get just 4 four before July 1st, we can beat the record.  With this trend, we have a chance!



Our Next Dust Bowl?
June 24, 2011

Yesterday, The Climate Prediction Center issued the weekly drought monitor, and it told us everything that we feared. That the drought was starting to get worse erasing the improvements that we had seen from our wet May. June, which is traditionally the 2nd wettest month of the year has turned out to be extremely dry. Will Rogers Airport has not even received an inch of rain and some areas in Western Oklahoma have yet to record a single drop of rain in the last 30 days. Check out the 30 day rainfall map from the Oklahoma Mesonet.

Many places in Northern Oklahoma and even a few select location in NW Oklahoma did receive a healthy inch of rain and even a little bit more here and there. But, the rainfall has been missed places like Guymon and Beckham and Roger Mills County. have only recorded a few tenths of an inch, if even that. So, how does this compare to The Dust Bowl? First off, this blog is only to talk about the lack of rain that we have seen which has lead to a drought which is approaching conditions during The Dust Bowl. It’s important to remember a few things here. The Dust Bowl was not just a long stretch of dry weather. The drought during this period saw short term improvements and the rains did come. There were extended periods during this time though that the drought was worse than others. Also, farming practices during this time were considerably different than they are now.

Anyways, so this is how the drought looks now for Oklahoma:

EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT conditions are now being reported across all of Western Oklahoma (see the brown color). An EXCEPTIONAL DROUGHT is the worst of the drought and is exactly the type of drought that was going on during The Dust Bowl.

So, how could this be deemed as a drought worth mentioning in the same sentence as The Dust Bowl? It may not be there now, but we just went through our wettest time of the year without a drop of rain or hardly any rain in some areas. The likelihood of getting heavy rain now will likely rest solely of something tropical coming up here and dumping/flooding the regions that need rain the most.

The outlook until the end of September looks like this:

Basically, the drought will continue to persist from I-35 and west until the end of September. This is not to say that we won’t get rain, we’ll still see chances of rain ( I hope) roll in here. But, this will only give short term term relief to the drought with small impacts long term. Pray for something tropical.