Winter's chill has ruled the roost this weekend, and much to my surprise the majority of people I spoke to over the last day or so actually welcomed the cold! After back-to-back scorching summers, I'm sure most folks wouldn't mind getting stuck in colder weather for a while.
We experienced our first autumn freeze across parts of northern Oklahoma this morning, and shattered a 121 year-old record cold high temperature in Oklahoma City yesterday. The previous record cold high temperature in Oklahoma City on October the 6th was 55° set back in 1891. Yesterday's high temperature in Oklahoma City only managed to reach 50°F at 1:39 p.m. CDT. There was even a report of light sleet this morning down around Davis and Sulphur!
According to the Oklahoma Mesonet, Seiling was the coldest spot in the state this morning hitting rock-bottom at 26°F. Low temperatures north of Interstate 40 ranged from 27°F - 35°F, while the remainder of southern Oklahoma held in the upper 30s and lower 40s. Locations that dropped to or below freezing did so for only an hour or two with the exception of northwestern Oklahoma. Here, the freeze lasted four to six hours with temperatures below 28°F, making this a hard freeze or killing freeze.
The freeze was a bit early for this time of year. Typically the first autumn freeze for northern portions of Oklahoma isn't until the second or third week of October. A large, cold high pressure system had slowly been building south across the Interior Plains of Canada and the Northern Plains of the United States last week. This mass of continental polar air pushed through Oklahoma in two waves: the first, weaker shot of cooler air moved in Thursday with the more substantial colder air Friday and Friday night. The high settled over the Central Plains yesterday and today making them the coldest days of this recent, brief excursion into winter's chill.
Another frost is possible tonight across portions of the state that weren't prone to it this morning. Temperatures tomorrow morning will range from 29°F – 40°F. Take care with tender vegetation, and any pipes or hoses that have not yet been winterized.
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