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Weather Service's November Forecast Model For Oklahoma Was Off

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The 18-day stretch following Christmas Eve was the coldest in Oklahoma history. In mid-November, the National Weather Service forecast predicted a mild winter, estimating December and January temperatures in the mid-30s. The 18-day stretch following Christmas Eve was the coldest in Oklahoma history. In mid-November, the National Weather Service forecast predicted a mild winter, estimating December and January temperatures in the mid-30s.
The National Weather Service calls it a perfect storm -- three different phenomena combining to create historic temperatures. The National Weather Service calls it a perfect storm -- three different phenomena combining to create historic temperatures.
McGavock: "The forecasts were off because these phenomena were so much below normal than they typically are. Both the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, both of those were the coldest, the most negative, they had ever been in history." McGavock: "The forecasts were off because these phenomena were so much below normal than they typically are. Both the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, both of those were the coldest, the most negative, they had ever been in history."

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Meteorologists with the National Weather Service are scratching their heads at this winter's wild temperatures. 

We experienced record low temperatures for nearly three weeks and now we're seeing highs in the low 60s. 

So is the National Weather Service changing its winter weather models to get a better read on future weather?

The National Weather Service calls it a perfect storm -- three different phenomena combining to create historic temperatures.

The 18-day stretch following Christmas Eve was the coldest in Oklahoma history. In mid-November, the National Weather Service forecast predicted a mild winter, estimating December and January temperatures in the mid-30s. 

So what happened? 

Two kinds of pressure systems, the North Atlantic and Arctic Oscillations, were the strongest they've been in 60 years.

"The forecasts were off because these phenomena were so much below normal than they typically are. Both the Arctic Oscillation and the North Atlantic Oscillation, both of those were the coldest, the most negative, they had ever been in history," said Nicole McGavock, National Weather Service.

Not only that, El Nino is back for the first time in four years, which helped keep temperatures so low for so long.

"And so because those were such large differences than what we normally expect from those oscillations, the impacts across our area were greater than we anticipated too," said McGavock.

Meteorologist Nicole McGavock says the National Weather Service isn't changing how they create their forecast models.

"Looking at the models for those other indexes, the other oscillations, it shows them staying at near normal now, or maybe just slightly below normal. But not showing any of the really negative anomalies that we had seen before that had caused this cold outbreak," said McGavock.

Plus, when you add in the recent warm spell, the November's three-month temperature prediction could end up being close to accurate.

On Thursday, January 21, the National Weather Service will put out its next three-month forecast model. The model will have temperature predictions for February, March and April.

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You can get the latest WARN Team forecast in the NewsOn6.com Weather section.

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