A Cool Front? We'll Take It.
We were at our breaking point. Three days of at least 112-degree weather, one of those reaching 113, the hottest since August of 1936. No rain. Two straight days of deadly wildfires. We wanted, nay, NEEDED relief. First of all for the firefighters, risking their lives to save others. For the people of Oklahoma, having to endure temperatures almost 20 degrees above normal at times, for the power companies, who have to keep up with the increased demand to power air conditioners and fans to keep everyone cool.
Enter Sunday, August 5. Waking up, 60s and 70s blanket the state as opposed to mid and upper 80s. No record warm lows here! Northeast winds from border to border, indicating the front made it all the way through the state, helping to usher in that cooler air. Northern Oklahoma even saw rain! Granted, not everyone was fortunate enough, but for those who did, it was actually measurable! So what happened?
The big ridge of high pressure, or heat dome, if you will, finally weakened enough to allow a big low pressure system in the northern plains to drag a cold front through the state and filter in some cooler air. While this wasn't a true Fall cold front, the kind that can put a chill in the air, it was just what we needed given the past several days. Summer weather patterns, specifically large high pressure systems, are quite stubborn. However, if you can break them, the pattern will usually stay changed for an extended period of time. Over the next week, as it looks right now, the big heat dome will set up shop on the west coast, allowing temperatures here to feel more reasonable and possibly even bring more rain chances!
Now, we are still officially in a summer month, so we'll still have heat. That's what August is known for in the south. Once September arrives, we'll watch the polar jet stream start to bring some of that cool air out of Canada and the northern plains down to Oklahoma. North winds will soon start to mean jeans, jackets, and the shutting off of air conditioners.