Rain chances increase over the weekend…

An upper level high pressure area has now shifted west of Oklahoma and flow aloft is becoming northerly.  Early Saturday, a strong short wave trough will be moving southeast through Eastern Montana.  This feature will make it to the Great Lakes region by late Sunday.  This will get a cold front moving south which will enter Northern Oklahoma early on Sunday, and make it to Southern Oklahoma by late in the day.

Confidence is increasing with regard to precipitation chances on Sunday.  A few showers and thunderstorms will be possible Saturday afternoon over Northwest Oklahoma, with more widespread thunderstorm activity making it into Northwest Oklahoma during the overnight hours of Sunday morning.  During the day on Sunday, Showers and thunderstorms will form over the northwest half of the state.  This activity will spread toward the Red River by late in the day.

Most places will see between 1/10th and 1/2 inch of rain with a few isolated areas seeing upward of an inch.  Also, the atmosphere is expected to become sufficiently unstable so that an isolated severe wind gust will be possible.  A few lingering showers and storms will be possible over Southern Oklahoma on Monday before the precipitation comes to an end.

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

The weather will become more interesting through the weekend, but just a little more interesting.  The upper level high pressure area that has been just northeast of Oklahoma for the better part of a week will begin to reorganize west of the state on Thursday.  As this occurs, a weak low pressure area which has been rotating around the high will move from Kansas into Eastern Oklahoma early Friday.  The weak low will track toward the Hill Country of South Texas by the end of the weekend.  Meanwhile, several short wave troughs in strong west to east flow near the Canadian border will begin to carve out a long wave trough over the Eastern U.S.  This will eventually help to bring cold fronts into the state, with the first arriving during the afternoon on Sunday.

With the upper high over Oklahoma on Thursday, temperatures are expected to be seasonably warm.  It will be quite warm Friday through Sunday as temperatures steadily climb in advance of the approaching cold front.  The exception will be over far Eastern Oklahoma on Friday thanks to a combination of cooler mid-level temperatures and cloudiness associated with the upper low.  There will be a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms with this feature over Eastern Oklahoma.  The front is expected to make it into far Northwest Oklahoma early on Sunday, then slowly move southeast during the day, possibly reaching Central Oklahoma by sunset.  It appears that there will be a decent chance of showers and thunderstorms over Northern Oklahoma / behind the cold front / during the afternoon and evening hours.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 71

Thursday: 98

Friday morning: 72

Friday: 100

Saturday morning: 73

Saturday: 102

Sunday morning: 74

Sunday: 100

Okarche temperature data back to 1936

Several changes have been made / and are in the process of being made / to the Okarche Weather page.  An exhausting amount of time has been spent going through everything from regional weather observations and daily weather maps, to searching numerous area CO-OP weather observations.  The result has been the expansion of historical weather data for Okarche, with temperature records now dating back to March of 1936.  Previously, temperature records for Okarche were only found back to January of 1993.

While it will still be many more weeks or months before all of the data is compiled into a presentable history, a preview can be found by looking at information for the month of August.

The direct link to the Okarche Weather page is http://www.okweatherwatch.com/Okarche_Weather.html

On that page, a link to AUGUST EXTREMES can be found.  The direct link is http://www.okweatherwatch.com/wx/augustrec.pdf.

Also, the August temperature CHART link will take you to what the monthly charts will now look like, using data back to 1936 for records and averages.  A direct link to August is http://www.okweatherwatch.com/wx/augustchart.jpg

This month has been a pleasant one despite the recent run back to near normal temperatures.  If you find yourself thinking it’s too hot, take the time to peek back at August of 1936: http://www.okweatherwatch.com/obs/obs0836.pdf

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

A lazy late summer pattern will continue through mid-week with high pressure aloft centered just northeast of Oklahoma.  The location of the high may possibly allow weak disturbances to rotate anti-cyclonically from the Lower Mississippi Valley, through Texas and toward the Central High Plains.  With Oklahoma being brushed by any such disturbance, an increase in moisture/clouds/showers will be possible.  However, no widespread or significant amounts of precipitation are expected.

Low-level flow will remain southerly and generally light through Wednesday.  The GFS has done a good job with temperatures over the last several weeks.  Why get off a winner?  Temperatures will be slightly above seasonal normal through mid-week.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 69

Monday: 94

Tuesday morning: 69

Tuesday: 95

Wednesday morning: 71

Wednesday: 98

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

Upper level high pressure near the Four Corners will build eastward and strengthen over the Central and Southern Plains through the weekend.

No precipitation is expected, and temperatures across the state should be near or slightly above seasonal normal.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 69

Thursday: 92

Friday morning: 69

Friday: 92

Saturday morning: 70

Saturday: 93

Sunday morning: 72

Sunday: 93

A little bite left in summer.

The latest model trends suggest that we will see some typical summer weather after all this year.  Our fun of having mild temperatures and precipitation every few days is coming to an end.  All indications are that the remainder of August will likely be dry, while we steadily warm to seasonal normal.  Given the state of greenness, we are unlikely to cook all the moisture out of our vegetation, meaning elevated moisture and heat will combine to produce uncomfortable heat index values through the end of the month.  Afternoon highs will reach the 90′s and overnight low temperatures will soon only be dropping into the 70′s.  It has been nice, but I guess we can put up with a couple of weeks of hot weather before we start seeing our September cold fronts bring relief.

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

The weather will be rather uneventful across Oklahoma over the next several days.  A broad, somewhat disorganized area of low pressure aloft will be found over the Mississippi Valley, and high pressure will be located near the Four Corners.  The result will be light northerly mid-level flow over the state with little or no significant forcing which would allow precipitation.

Low-level flow is currently out of the southeast being affected by a surface high pressure ridge which is nosing into the Central and Southern Plains.  As a cold front organizes over the Central Plains on Wednesday, winds across Oklahoma will become more southwesterly, resulting in temperatures closer to August normal.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 63

Monday: 89

Tuesday morning: 67

Tuesday: 92

Wednesday morning: 68

Wednesday: 94

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

Potential for some significant severe weather.

High pressure will remain situated over the Southwest U.S. while a trough of low pressure is located near and just east of the Mississippi Valley through the weekend.  This will keep northwest to north flow over the state through the period.  A strong short wave trough embedded in the flow will move southeastward from the Central High Plains late on Thursday and early on Friday.  Otherwise, there is very little model evidence of any distinct waves which could have an impact on the weather in Oklahoma through Sunday.  The pattern favors temperatures in Oklahoma to be at or below seasonal normal.  The greatest chance of precipitation comes late on Thursday or early on Friday associated with the approaching short wave trough.  Outside of this time frame, only isolated showers and thunderstorms will be possible through the weekend.

…Severe weather threat Thursday/Friday…

The seasonably potent short wave trough which will be approaching the state during the afternoon and evening on Thursday will help to deepen surface low pressure over the Oklahoma Panhandle.  In turn, this will strengthen low level southeasterly flow over the state.  A very moist fetch of air will extend from Oklahoma to W Kansas by late afternoon.  With afternoon heating and mid-level cold advection, the atmosphere is expected to become very unstable during the day.  Thunderstorms will form by early afternoon over NW and NC Kansas.  Forecast soundings are quite impressive for August and favor rapid evolution toward supercell structures as the activity begins to move south southeast.  By sunset, the storms will likely have evolved into a severe cluster/complex which will be accelerating as it moves into NW Oklahoma.  The 00z GFS suggests that a strengthening low level jet will evolve as far east as the I-35 corridor by Midnight.  This will assist in development on the eastern flank of the storm complex as it continues to roll southward during the early morning hours of Friday.  Current indications are that supercell storms in Kansas early in the event will be capable of producing very large hail and damaging winds.  An isolated tornado is also possible.  The threat will transition to more of a damaging wind threat as the activity moves into Oklahoma.  Despite expected weakening by Midnight, some severe wind threat will extend all the way to the Red River.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 66

Thursday: 88

Friday morning: 63 / Showers and thunderstorms

Friday: 84

Saturday morning: 62

Saturday: 85

Sunday morning: 63

Sunday: 86

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

The weather pattern will be an interesting one through Wednesday as upper level high pressure builds over the Southwest U.S. while northwest flow aloft increases over Oklahoma.

Short wave troughs embedded in the flow will elevate precipitation chances, while temperatures remain on the mild side for this time of year.

The pattern favors daily storm development over the High Plains of Kansas and Colorado, with repeated complexes moving southeast across the state.  While it will be hard to determine the exact timing of these storms, some periods that stand out include:

1. Monday morning, as storms which are currently developing organize and move east overnight.

2. Monday night and Tuesday morning, as a cold front moves south through Kansas and helps to enhance storms which will move into the state.

3. Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon, with the cold front in the state, widespread showers and thunderstorms will be possible from SE Colorado to Oklahoma.

All of these periods have a chance at producing significant precipitation and the combined total through Wednesday could be excessive in some areas.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 70 / Showers and thunderstorms

Monday: 93 / Showers and thunderstorms

Tuesday morning: 70 / Showers and thunderstorms

Tuesday: 88 / Showers and thunderstorms

Wednesday morning: 67 / Showers and thunderstorms

Wednesday: 76 / Showers and thunderstorms

Susan Strom

It’s with great sadness that I spend this post talking about the passing of another storm chasing icon.  Susan Strom – known worldwide as the “Lightning Lady” – passed away recently after a battle with ovarian cancer.  Susan was an incredible photographer with a deep passion for shooting lightning.  She made several trips to “Tornado Alley”, but her true love was shooting images of the storms in her home state of Arizona.  July and August was her primary storm season, when the moisture and storms returned to the Sonoran Desert.

When my interest in lightning photography ramped up many years ago, I started searching for those that were accomplished in the field.  Susan was one of the first I came across.  I never met her in person, but I did have many conversations with her about honing my lightning photography skills.  Prior to a trip to Arizona for lightning photography in 2004, Susan spent a great deal of time letting me know about all her “secret” places she had found to shoot lightning.  Boy, I thought I was really special.  Then I found out that she would let anyone know that took the time to get in touch with her.  If helping out a complete stranger is a way to measure someone, she graded very high.  Everyone I know who has worked or talked with her has had nothing but good things to say about the type of person she was.

I will add a link to a short article that was published about Susan a few years ago.  As she describes the love she has for the hobby and what she is willing to do to “get that shot” – I see a lot of myself.  Rest in peace, Lightning Lady, you will be missed.