You never know what you're gonna get! It's an appropriate analogy this Valentine's Day. Yesterday, we saw the snow. Today, freezing fog wreaked havoc on the morning commute. Tomorrow, we might wake up to a rumble of thunder with spring-like temperatures by afternoon. What a week it is for weather here in our region! Oklahoma is known for its variety of weather conditions, but even this is a bit extreme.
We'll start with a recap of the snow. While the hype may have not matched the amount of snow received, it turned out to be the first winter weather of significance this season. Some places to the northwest around Ponca City saw as much as 4 inches. If you live around Tulsa or to the south, you likely didn't see much more than an inch of snow. Fortunately, this system was drawing in warmer air as time went along, keeping our surface temperatures near the freezing mark instead of well below it. That reduced the severity of the travel problems.
Unfortunately, many commuters underestimated the impact of freezing fog this morning. Numerous injury accidents were reported throughout the state – definitely not the way anyone wants to begin a Valentine's Day! The fog was stubborn to leave in some places, but has finally lifted, along sunshine to break out and warmer temperatures to build in. Thus, we can kiss any of that remaining snow good-bye.
It will be distant memory by Wednesday as a compact, upper-level system pinwheels into Oklahoma. This will bring back the clouds, southerly winds, and chance of rain by morning. Temperatures will remain nearly steady overnight. This system is strong enough to produce some elevated thunderstorms, which commonly produce hail. Although the storms will be scattered in the morning hours, it could still be another weather-related issue for that morning commute. Sorry, morning drivers! The storms will clear the region from west to east during the day. There is a minor severe threat, but, once again, the main concern will be hail. The severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center is shown in the map above. The main threat of severe weather will be further to the southeast, down into the Arklatex region where more surface-based instability can be found. A dry slot will move in with westerly winds by afternoon, which will allow temperatures to rise into the 60s for many areas!
The remainder of the week should be dry with near or slightly above-normal temperatures. It's a heart-warming outlook after a week that ACTUALLY felt like winter!
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