The temperatures soared yesterday afternoon across the state with some location near and above 100 across the southwestern part of Oklahoma. The eastern third of Oklahoma ranged from the lower 80s to the upper 80s with gusty south winds. Tulsa International recorded a high of 87, just 2 degrees shy of equaling an all-time record for the Tulsa area. Our next front will quickly approach the state this afternoon before stalling and retreating into southern Kansas Friday morning. A compact and powerful upper level system will rapidly approach the state from the west tonight. A surface area of low pressure will form across the far Northwestern OK and Southwestern Kansas vicinity and then move rapidly northeast into central Kansas Friday morning. The time period from tonight through Friday morning will feature a small window of opportunity for severe storms forming with all severe weather modes possible. But most weather data indicates temperatures aloft will be too warm to allow updrafts to mature. This CAP should suppress thunderstorm activity south of the boundary, including most of the state. If the CAP does not hold, significant severe weather will be likely. The retreating boundary may also have a few storms along the northern side of the front by early Friday morning, but these storms would be quickly moving into Kansas. The bottom line: our storm chances are very low, but the severe weather potential would be high if storms can manage to form.
Late Friday night into Saturday morning storms will be likely across southern Kansas and a few of these could migrate into the northern part of the state.
The front will finally get a shove southward Saturday morning, but as I stated yesterday morning, the data seems to suggest the boundary will not move as far south as compared to model data of the last 3 days. This has major implications on the temperature forecast for the weekend and early next week. I made some upward adjustments yesterday to the weekend numbers, but it appears we'll need to increase the temps even more as the latest data continues to offer warmer and not cooler air.
The shower and storm chances this weekend will be mainly post frontal in the cool sector with northeast surface winds. But the position of the frontal boundary could allow for some storms to become rooted right along the boundary. Again, this probability for rooted updrafts near the boundary is very low, but it they could become surface based, significant severe weather would occur along the boundary until cells move northward and become elevated. At this point, the data does not offer this solution, but my past experience with these type boundaries in April require careful examination until the warm sector expands more northward into Kansas by early next week.
Highs today will be in mid 80s with mostly cloudy with northeast winds early and southeast winds late for the northern OK area.