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Much Colder for the Weekend.

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The map on the right shows the most recent drought monitor for the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Recent rains and some wintry precipitation have certainly helped the more western counties, but much more is needed. Whatever light precipitation occurs tonight will not help much and although we are looking at another potentially wet system Sunday night into Monday, it probably will not help much either as the amounts are expected to be very light.

If you have been watching radar at all during the day today, you have probably been wondering where the rain is. Most of what the radar has been displaying has not made it down to the surface, but that will be changing during the overnight hours. As the lower levels moisten, more of the light rain will be making it to the surface, particularly for the more southern counties. For the extreme northern counties, there may even be a wintry mix for a brief time tonight, but there will be no accumulation and with temperatures just above freezing no problems are expected either.

The clouds and precipitation will be moving on east by early Friday morning followed by gusty northerly winds as much colder air moves into the state. That will also bring some clearing for at least a short time so we do expect more sunshine for Friday afternoon. Temperatures will start off in the mid 30s for the most part, should moderate into the lower 40s by early afternoon, then will be quickly falling during the late afternoon and early evening hours. In fact, this will be the coldest we have been this year with morning lows in the teens for Saturday and quite possibly Sunday mornings.

Some high level cirrus clouds may impact the daytime temperatures for Saturday and we may struggle to get much above freezing during the day. After the cold start Sunday morning, a more SE surface wind will try to warm things up, but clouds will also be on the increase. Another storm system will be coming our way for the Sunday night and Monday time frames which really complicates the forecast. The cold surface air in place is usually reluctant to get pushed out, but the longer range guidance is consistent in showing a pronounced southerly surface wind for Sunday night and Monday. Southerly winds and wintry precipitation are a rare combination around here, but it can happen. Bottom line; expect at least some wintry precipitation for late Sunday night and into the morning hours of Monday before it changes all over to rain. Whether it will be freezing rain, sleet, or snow is still up for debate and depends on the vertical structure of the atmosphere at that time. That probably will not be decided until over the weekend.

Barring any surprises, the amount of precipitation from this system is expected to be on the light side with total qpf amounts only on the order of .1" or so. However, if that should fall as ice or freezing rain, it does not take much of that to create problems.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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