Medicine Park: Inversion "poker"

On the morning of October 15, just before sunrise, there was something interesting on the Oklahoma Mesonet front page:


What was happening to cause Medicine Park to be such an outlier? 

First, we had very calm winds across the state overnight.  This allowed a large inversion to form near the surface, as indicated by the balloon sounding made at around 6 a.m. in Norman:


The red line is temperature in degrees C.  Notice how it increases rapidly from around 5 degrees C near the surface to about 16 degrees C as height increases.

Second, Medicine Park is one of the higher sites in that area which allowed it to measure temperatures near the top of the inversion.  

Here’s a map showing the temperature at 1.5 meters (about 5 feet) and at 9 meters (about 29.5 feet) above the surface.  Also plotted is the station’s elevation above sea level in feet:


Very healthy rainfall totals across much of the Sooner state the past two storm systems. Unfortunately the places that need rain most (western parts of the state), didn’t get as much as the folks in the eastern parts of the state. 

Still, some rain is better than no rain. So we’ll take what we can get when we  can get it out there!