9:45 AM CDT | May 26, 2018
I really thought that the region would be entering a wetter pattern right now with more seasonal temperatures. At the start of May, I said that we should see the first signs of a more active weather pattern around May 24th. I knew that a low pressure system would likely move into the Western US and then into the Central US. Looking at this morning's 500mb analysis, you can see the state of our atmosphere right now.
There is a low pressure system in the west and our developing subtropical system to the southeast. Between these two features, we have a ridge that extends from Mexico into our region. The ridge will be briefly suppressed early next week as the system to our west passes to the north. The Texas Panhandle, far Northwest Texas, and Oklahoma will be on the edge of the ridge and could be clipped by some storms, perhaps even a storm cluster, during that time. The ridge is then expected to strengthen thereafter.
As mentioned on Facebook earlier this month, we could see another system approach from the west around June 1st. The models are picking up on this; however, they show it weakening as it moves into the Central Plains in early June. Hopefully, they trend stronger with it as we get closer. Storm clusters overturn the atmosphere and can chip away at the ridge. The problem is, if you do not see many of these, you continue to dry out. When you dry out, you heat up. Tropical systems also chip away at the ridge, if they track close enough to impact it. If they take a track farther east, where Texas is left on the western side with subsident (sinking) air, it has the opposite effect. In short, unless something changes for Texas to break this loop, signs are pointing more and more toward a hot, dry summer. :(
As the National Weather Service recently discussed, what happens over the next several weeks will have an impact on our summer weather.