Drying Out…

Well… we were up to our nether regions in precipitation at the first of the month.  By July 11th, the total rainfall in Okarche had reached 6.04 inches which set a record for the month.  We’ve been on a dry spell since then… one that appears will continue for the next several days.  As of July 22 – we were on an 11 day dry streak which is the 3rd longest so far this year.

13 days – April 3 to 15

13 days – June 1 to 13

11 days – July 12 to 22

10 days – January 7 to 16

8 days – February 27 to March 6

8 days – March 11 to 18

First 100 degree temperature of the season…

At 1:54 P.M. CDT… the temperature in Okarche reached 100 degrees.  This is the first time this season and the first time since August 10, 2009.  We are still several degrees off the record high of 105 degrees set in 2006.

Dewpoint temperatures have fallen some and the heat index at this time is less than 110 degrees… a regular cool spell…

When You Dance with the Devil…

… you wait for the song to stop. – Barry the Baptist (Lock, stock and Two Smoking Barrels)

Well… our time has come to dance with the devil.  The rain has stopped, but it has left a lot of precipitation on the ground and now we have to wring it all out before we can bring down some of these crazy heat index values.  The high temperature in Okarche on the 13th was only 97 degrees.   However, the dew point reached 79 degrees at about the same time making the heat index 114.4 degrees!

Records on heat index are not kept, but it would not be a surprise if that is one of the warmest ever recorded in this year of years.

It still looks like we have several more days in store before we can “cook” the moisture out of the ground and start getting heat index temperatures back to seasonable normals.  In other words… the Devil leads right now…. be polite and follow for a few more days….

July 12, 2010 – Severe Storm, Western Oklahoma

Most recent model guidance indicates that the thunderstorms that have been occurring in Oklahoma are going to wind down for a few days… possibly more than a week.  While the heat will be returning, it will be nice to give things a chance to dry out.

Until now, the summer lightning season has been doing pretty well.  We drove to western Oklahoma on the 12th and observed an isolated supercell track south through Dewey and Custer Counties.

The radar image below was captured just a couple of minutes before the photo which not only shows the storm structure and some cloud to ground lightning, but also Venus and the bright star Regulus.

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Severe Weather, Rainfall and Chasing…

First, the storm:

The severe thunderstorm that rolled through Okarche on the 11th produced 59 M.P.H. winds at 7:37 P.M.

The storm also produced 1.94 inches of rainfall.  This was the third day this month that the daily rainfall exceeded one inch.  The total for the month is now 6.04 inches which makes this July the wettest on record.  The previous record was 5.47 inches set in 2007.

Besides the severe wind gust… the other records set on the 11th:

1.94 inches of rain / previous record 0.30 inches set in 1984.
65 degrees tied the lowest temperature on the date also reached in 1996.

The severe weather did a number on the garden.  Several hours were spent cleaning up this morning and it might not be as bad as first thought.  Several things needed to be removed, trimmed, staked up or harvested, but the final results are not as bad as some of the first pictures indicate:

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While this storm was occurring, I was on a two day chase with Vince Miller.  Some of our photo results from western Kansas on the 10th and western Oklahoma on the 11th:

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Severe Storm Strikes Okarche…

… 59 M.P.H. winds hit at 7:37 P.M. …

… Rainfall records fall …

… So does most of garden …

A severe thunderstorm hit Okarche around 7:30 P.M. on Sunday… producing 59 M.P.H. winds and 1.94 inches of rainfall.  The total rain set a record for the date… but also brought the July total to the most ever recorded in Okarche at 6.04 inches.  We are making quite a run at catching our yearly total back up to normal.

We dodged most of the hail that has affected central Oklahoma this year, but it doesn’t look like we are going to be able to avoid the wind.  50+ M.P.H. winds driving a heavy rain for many minutes have taken its toll on the garden.  We have only been able to inspect the damage in the dark, but needless to say, there is quite a bit.  We won’t know for sure until we attack the mess at daybreak in an effort to beat what is expected to be another round of severe storms later today.

Updates with photos when we see more in the morning…..

Daily Precipitation Record Broken…

Afternoon thunderstorms have produced 1.23 inches of rain in Okarche which has brought the monthly total up to 4.07 inches.  When we started the day, this was the 11th wettest July in Okarche.  We have now jumped up to 6th place on the list.  We are also now only 1.40 inches from having the wettest July on record.

Also, today marks the 6th day in a row for measurable precipitation which ties the record for the 8th most.

The 1.23 inches of rain so far today breaks the old record of 0.39 of an inch set in 1993.

Cool and Wet – Flash Flooding Possible as records start to fall…

All of the first six days of July have seen below normal temperatures in Okarche.  Low high temperature records were set on the 3rd and 4th.

On the precipitation front… a total of 2.84 inches of rain has fallen over five consecutive days (2nd-6th).  Rain today would result in the six days of consecutive days of precipitation being in a tie for 8th ever.  Rain on Thursday would result in a tie for 3rd (seven days).  Rain on Friday would tie for first at eight consecutive days.

The total precipitation of 1.35 inches on the 5th was a record for the date.  We have had enough rainfall to start looking at July records:

1 – 2007 / 5.47

2 – 1996 / 4.92

3 – 2005 / 4.62

4 – 2006 / 4.60

5 – 1997 / 4.56

6 – 1991 / 4.00

7 – 1995 / 3.79

8 – 1999 / 3.54

9 – 1989 / 3.50

10 – 1987 / 3.20

11 – 2010 / 2.84

So, we sit in 11th place overall for the month of July, but only a little over 2 1/2 inches from 1st place.  Not only is it still very early in the month… a Flash Flood Watch is in effect for today, Thursday and Friday.  Given the very tropical nature of the atmosphere, it becomes very easy to believe that 2 to 3 inches of rain could fall during the next couple of days.

As far as the heat goes…. well it has to go somewhere…. and it did!  To the northeast where record temperatures have been falling over the last few days.

From Bloomberg Businessweek:

July 7 (Bloomberg) — New York City temperatures may reach 100 degrees again today after setting a new daily record and coming within 3 degrees of an all-time high, the National Weather Service said.

While today’s readings aren’t forecast to reach yesterday’s 103 Fahrenheit (39 Celsius), most people won’t feel much relief from the heat wave that began over the weekend, said Richard Castro, a weather service meteorologist in Upton, New York.

“It will still be extremely hot,” Castro said by telephone. “Cooling off a couple of degrees from temperatures in the 100s isn’t relief.”

Above-average temperatures will hang on through the week and Washington may see its hottest day today, said Joe Bastardi, chief meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.

U.S. nuclear production rose to the highest level in at least 17 years, 98,740 megawatts, as the heat wave boosted demand for electricity, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported.

Utilities asked customers to curb electricity use as the high temperatures from Virginia to Maine strained air conditioners and raised power use in New York to 33,450 megawatts, just below the record of 33,939 set in August 2006, according to the New York Independent System Operator.

Conservation Urged

Consolidated Edison Co. urged its customers in the New York City area to conserve power during the day. The company reduced voltage to several Queens and Brooklyn neighborhoods by 5 to 8 percent last night and this morning because of problems with electrical cables.

About 375,400 customers in those neighborhoods, which included Flushing, Gowanus, Forest Hills and Brooklyn Heights among others, were affected. About 6,934 ConEd customers are without power in the metropolitan area, according to company outage maps.

In Rhode Island, the heat overloaded the electric grid, which is still damaged from flooding in March, according to National Grid. The company shut power down intermittently to about 1,600 customers, according to a statement on its website.

“With temperatures approaching 100 degrees yesterday and today, the local system in its compromised state simply cannot handle the demand being placed upon it,” the statement said.

The weather service is predicting Washington and Baltimore will reach 102 today. Yesterday, Reagan Washington National Airport recorded 102 and Baltimore-Washington International posted a mark of 105 degrees.

Eastern Swelter

Heat advisories and air quality alerts stretch from Virginia through New York and Vermont to Canada, where temperatures in Montreal hit the 90s yesterday, according to the weather service.

Heat advisories mean the high temperatures may have serious health consequences while air quality advisories warn that pollution and ground level ozone will be dangerous for people with breathing problems.

An excessive heat warning has been issued for Philadelphia, eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. While temperatures in the area aren’t supposed to be as high as yesterday, there will be greater humidity, making it feel just as hot, the weather service said in a statement.

A heat wave is defined as at least three days in a row of temperatures of 90 or more, and temperatures in New York reached the upper 90s on July 4. New York’s last weeklong heat wave was in August 1998, while the longest was 12 days from Aug. 24 to Sept. 4, 1953, according to agency records.

NYC Record

The longest stretch of consecutive 100-plus days on record at Central Park came in 1993, when it rose from 100 on July 8 to 102 on July 10.

A daily record high temperature of 102 degrees was set at T.F. Green International Airport in Warwick, Rhode Island, breaking the mark of 97 set in 1999, according to the weather service.

A record high temperature of 102 degrees was also set at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, breaking the old mark for the day of 99 in 1999, the weather service said.

Bastardi said while temperatures will start to fall by the weekend, he expects July will be much warmer than normal across most of the country. He said another heat wave will probably arrive after July 15 and bring temperatures of 100 or higher to the northern Great Plains and Chicago.

“I don’t think this is the last of the heat,” Bastardi said in an interview. “The next time it comes back it may not be as extreme on the East Coast, but the Northern Plains, Chicago and Minneapolis are liable to broil for the last two weeks of July.”

Castro said the high temperatures in New York will only be in the 90s as the week goes on and by the weekend will be in the high 80s. He said normal high temperatures for this time of year are in the 80s.

Yesterday the weather service issued heat advisories for much of the East and Northeast, meaning the high temperatures may have serious health consequences.

In addition to the heat, air quality advisories warned that pollution and ground level ozone will be dangerous today, especially for people with breathing problems.

July 5th Sunset – Without Fireworks!

The moist atmosphere… clouds and showers/thunderstorms that we have been blessed with over the past couple of weeks have provided us with rainfall that you never turn down this time of year.  The added benefit has been some amazing sunsets… and once again, the sunset on July 5th didn’t disappoint.

A small line of thunderstorms was moving into Kingfisher County, and we set out with the hope of a few lightning photos.  While lightning was very minimal at best, the sunset was great and made the short trip worthwhile!

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