Last week we discussed the pattern change leading into the high pressure dome centered across the mid-section of the country. This week’s highlight is the storms to start off with, but as the high reforms across Oklahoma, temperatures hit the century mark.
The reason for the storms scattered across the area Sunday and Monday was due to the breakdown of the first upper ridge which allowed some trapped vertical motion to move through Oklahoma. As the ridge rebuilds, that lift is gone and replaced with hardly a cloud and lots of sunshine. This will slowly dry vegetation out. So we’ll hold in the upper the 90s until this magic spot happens, then bam, 100. West and NW Oklahoma will hit 100 first due to the dry soils after harvest.
Regarding the storms at the start, here is an animation showing how pretty much anywhere is fair game. It’s certainly not a guarantee you’ll get rained on however, but have a backup plan and watch radar trends. Little outflow boundaries will be all it takes to get some storms to go. Rainfall amounts won’t be that great unless you are underneath one of the extreme downpours that doesn’t move much. That’s typical of summertime storms. Models try to do their best, but don’t handle this type of outcome well.
So as the ridge transitions, we will get the center of high across Oklahoma by Thursday. Watch the animation to follow the lift in the atmosphere(colors) and how it moves around the broad high clockwise circulation. This will get those warm temperature anomalies in our part of the country.
You may have noticed some blue color returning in that 850mb anomaly map. Well, that’s due to shifting the ridge west by the 4th of August to allow a low pressure storm system to ride down over the top. This will drag in a cold front into the state, cooling temperatures down by as much as 10 degrees with scattered showers and storms. So some temporary relief is on the way before it heats up again. However, additional repositioning of the ridge across the country can favor Oklahoma to stay out of the 100s for the rest of August. Time will tell, but that possibility is on the table.
Temperatures will continue to climb this week across the state. OKC temperature trend is shown below with a model blend. I’ve also included the NWS zonal forecast for the week. Make sure you drink lots of water and seek lots of shade this week! -AT