Okarche Summer Precipitation

The meteorological summer of June, July, and August saw 19.60 inches of precipitation in Okarche.  This was the third wettest summer of record and well above the summer average of 11.00 inches.

2013 has now seen a total of 43.11 inches of precipitation which makes this the third wettest year of record.  We are less than an inch away from becoming the second wettest year of record, but almost 20 inches short of the wettest year – the incredibly wet 2007.

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

NAM/GFS in good agreement through Tuesday that a very strong jet will extend from the Pacific Northwest to the Northern Plains.  By Wednesday, a jet max will begin to drop southeastward over Northern California, helping to carve out a trough over the Western U.S.

The surface pressure gradient over Oklahoma will be weak through Tuesday with light southerly winds expected.  On Wednesday, pressures will start to fall over the High Plains in response to the developing Western U.S. trough, and this will result in an increase in south winds.  Winds over the Panhandle and northwest part of the state will become quite gusty.

No precipitation is expected through Wednesday.  Temperatures will be near normal on Monday and become slightly above normal Tuesday and Wednesday.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 51

Monday: 81

Tuesday morning: 57

Tuesday: 84

Wednesday morning: 61

Wednesday: 85

Severe thunderstorms possible Friday/27th

Severe Risk Friday/27th.

A strong trough of low pressure will be advancing east northeastward across the Rockies this afternoon and evening, resulting in increasing mid-level flow over the Plains.  Surface low pressure is expected to deepen over E Colorado and a dryline will extend from the low southward through W Texas.  A significant increase in low-level moisture will occur across the state this afternoon.  This combined with steepening lapse rates and afternoon heating will result in a narrow axis of moderate instability from W Kansas to W Texas.  Most all model data suggests that afternoon storms will develop near the dryline, with activity spreading northeastward through the evening hours.  Given forecast wind profiles and instability, strong to severe line segments appear likely which will be capable of producing areas of damaging winds and hail.  While an isolated tornado cannot be ruled out, wind damage should be the primary threat with todays storms.

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

An upper level low pressure area is located over Idaho this evening, with a strong jet segment extending cyclonically from just west of N California to S Nevada to E Wyoming.  The trough will weaken slightly as it lifts northeastward over the High Plains late Friday.  The system will be moving across the Upper Midwest on Saturday.  The 00z GFS is a little slower and more in line with the 12z ECMWF.  Both of these model solutions are considerably slower than the 00z NAM.

As the system moves over the Plains on Saturday, it will help drive a cold front southeastward across the state.  The front should start moving across the Panhandle around Midnight on Saturday, the Oklahoma City area by Noon, and SE Oklahoma by sunset.  Lift associated with the passing trough, frontal convergence, and increasing low level moisture will result in widespread showers and thunderstorms.  As the front slows, precipitation will linger near the Red River and SE Oklahoma through Sunday.  Most places will see between 1/2 and 1 inch of rain.  Some localized areas near 2 inches appear possible and parts of SE Oklahoma may see upward of 3 inches.

Temperatures across C Oklahoma will be well above normal on Thursday and Friday ahead of the front.  Temperatures will fall to slightly below normal over the weekend.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 63

Thursday: 92

Friday morning: 65

Friday: 89

Saturday morning: 65 / Showers and thunderstorms possible

Saturday: 72 / Showers and thunderstorms likely

Sunday morning: 59 / Showers possible

Sunday: 74

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

00z NAM is in good agreement with 12z ECMWF this evening.  A small but powerful storm system is currently located near the Four Corners.  This system will be lifting toward the Central and Northern Plains by Monday evening.  Part of the system will shear northward into Canada, while strong flow at the base of the trough moves eastward and carves out low pressure over the Ohio Valley on Wednesday.  A narrow ridge of high pressure will build over Oklahoma during the day Wednesday as a very strong and broad trough of low pressure becomes established over the Western U.S.

A weak cold front will be moving eastward across Oklahoma on Monday.  With limited moisture and the strongest lifting staying north of the state, little or no precipitation is expected.  Only a slight chance of showers will exist over the far northwest part of the state.  Surface high pressure will be centered over Oklahoma on Tuesday.  By Wednesday, deep low pressure will be organizing over the Central High Plains.  Winds will become southerly across the state, and be quite strong over the Panhandle and far northwest.

Temperatures will be near normal Monday and Tuesday, then become above normal on Wednesday.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 54

Monday: 84

Tuesday morning: 55

Tuesday: 84

Wednesday morning: 59

Wednesday: 89

A little of this, and a little of that…

Happy Mabon!  A time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.  The Autumn Equinox will occur on Sunday, September 22nd at 3:44 pm.

The photos above are of a brilliant sunset which occurred on Friday the 20th.  It’s rare to have amazing color stretching across all quadrants of the sky.  Three of the views are from the house looking west, south, and east.  The last image is a view to the west from the west side of Okarche.

Temperatures across the state were more like fall after a cold front passed on Thursday.  The mesonet early this morning shows several temperatures in the 40′s.  It’s easy to start thinking about the upcoming winter.

After an above normal snow season last year, the average has increased slightly to 9.9 inches in Okarche.  The upcoming snow season will be tracked at http://www.okweatherwatch.com/wx/1314snowfall.jpg

We are likely over a month away from our first freeze, but the record earliest freeze in Okarche was on October 7, 1952.  Other dates concerning the first freeze can be found here: http://www.okweatherwatch.com/wx/okarchefirstfreeze.jpg

New information on the May 31, 2013 – El Reno, Oklahoma tornado

I will admit right off that I did no research on the information provided here.  The information was taken from the blog of research meteorologist, Gabe Garfield.  It was impressive enough to pass on.

Data on the El Reno, Oklahoma tornado of May 31, 2013 was released at a recent weather radar conference.  It was nothing short of amazing, and I have little doubt now that the tornado has set the bar for extreme events.  Colorado recently was hit by an extreme flood event, one that is estimated to occur only once in 1000 years.  Could it be possible that the El Reno tornado was a once in a 500-1000 year event?

Gabe wrote (with minor edit):

* Near Highway 81, the El Reno tornado achieved a peak forward motion of 55 mph!

* After the tornado crossed Highway 81, the sub-vortices within the larger circulation grew to mammoth proportions.  The largest were bigger than the size of 3 football fields!

* As the tornado approached Highway 81, small vortices developed on the northwest side of the circulation and “fed” the circulation.

* The tornado displayed vortices on multiple scales.  This “tornado within a tornado” behavior was noted shortly before the tornado crossed Highway 81.  At that time, the tornado had two prominent vortices: an inner vortex, about 150 yards in width, and an outer vortex about 1.25 miles in diameter.

* One of the most intense sub-vortices during the tornado translated at an incredible 180 mph!  Curiously, it was also stationary at times during its two minute life-span.

* At 6:26 p.m., the Doppler on Wheels measured a 255 mph gust in a sub-vortex just south of I-40.  This exceeds the EF5 threshold by over 50 mph.

* In addition to the gigantic cyclonic tornado, the El Reno storm simultaneously produced a strong anti-cyclonic tornado.  This tornado featured powerful sub-vortices with winds peaking around 145 mph!

The above data was gathered from a paper titled “Preliminary Results from the ROTATE-2013 Season”

With authors: Joshua Wurman, Karen Kosiba, and Paul Robinson (Center for Severe Weather Research, Boulder, Colorado) and Tim Marshall (Haag Engineering)

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

12z solutions of the GFS and ECMWF are in good agreement through the upcoming weekend.  An upper level trough of low pressure over the Northern Rockies will track eastward, reaching the Great Lakes by Saturday.  While the strongest part of the trough tracks eastward, a digging segment at the base of the trough will track through the Plains toward the Lower Mississippi Valley.  The cold front associated with this trough will move across Oklahoma on Thursday.  We will see temperatures near, or slightly above normal on Thursday, then falling to below normal Friday through Sunday.  Lifting associated with the cold front and short wave trough will begin to increase chances of showers and thunderstorms statewide on Thursday.  Precipitation will be coming to an end over NW Oklahoma Thursday night, but lingering chances of rain will continue over SE Oklahoma Friday morning and afternoon.  Some of the storms will be on the strong side with the potential to produce gusty winds and small hail.  After the precipitation ends on Friday, the remainder of the weekend will be dry.  Deepening low pressure over the Central and Northern High Plains on Sunday will result in winds becoming southerly with gusts to near 40 mph over the Panhandle.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 69

Thursday: 88 / Showers and thunderstorms possible

Friday morning: 66 / Showers and thunderstorms likely

Friday: 79

Saturday morning: 56

Saturday: 79

Sunday morning: 53

Sunday: 76

Record Precipitation

Heavy showers and thunderstorms occurred just prior to sunrise on the 16th.  In Okarche, the total precipitation was 1.32 inches when combined with lighter precipitation through the afternoon.  This sets a record for the date.  The previous record was 1.20 inches set in 1995.

The total for the month has reached 3.27 inches which is only 1/10th of an inch shy of the September average.