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Another Record Setting Day.

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This is just crazy. Have mentioned on many occasions throughout this year that 2012 has so far been the warmest year on record. Yet the last two days have been the coldest ever for those respective dates and this morning Tulsa officially recorded the earliest freeze on record. Gotta love this Oklahoma weather, although it certainly gives those of us who try to forecast it more than a few headaches.

OK, so what to expect now? Well, the clouds and patchy light rain which has primarily affected the more southern counties with even some light sleet will be quickly moving on eastward this evening and overnight. Clearing skies will quickly follow so we should have a clear start to Monday morning. However, the cool surface ridge will also be moving quickly on eastward with a return to southerly winds at most locations by early morning. Bottom line is that the protected valleys and more eastern locations should be the coldest to start the day on Monday as the southerly winds will be stronger for the more western counties by morning. That all adds up to another frost/freeze situation for the eastern counties in particular and tender plants will require protection once again.

Those southerly winds and sunny skies on Monday will also produce a nice rebound with afternoon highs expected to reach the mid 60s during the day which is still well below normal for this time of year. Tuesday will be warmer yet with brisk southerly winds for much of the day before the next cool front arrives during the evening/overnight hours. Morning lows will be in the 40s and daytime highs back into the 70s under partly cloudy skies.

This next front looks to be moisture starved although cannot rule out an isolated shower for the extreme NE counties Tues night. Wednesday will then have a brief cool-down with NE winds, partly cloudy skies, and highs near 70.

A quick return to southerly winds on Thursday will resume the warming trend and daytime highs should be in the upper 70s to near 80. Moisture will also begin to return so there will be at least a slight chance of showers or storms before the day is over.

Showers/storms look more likely for the Fri/Sat time frame. Another cool front will be moving this way but will stall out along the OK/KS state line; at least for Friday. Thus the best chance of showers/storms on Friday will be for the more northern counties. The extra cloud cover and chance of rain should keep daytime temperatures in the 70s, but morning lows will likely be in the lower 60s so much warmer. There may also be some locally heavy rainfall for the more northern counties as well.

Saturday could get interesting as it looks much like a springtime setup. The longer range guidance is consistently bringing a vigorous upper level system out of the southern Rockies and into the Plains during the day. The placement and strength of this system suggests a decent shot at showers/storms ahead of the trailing cool front which should push through that evening/overnight. Some of those storms will likely be locally quite strong.

Unless the timing changes, that should then leave Sunday with partly cloudy skies and somewhat milder conditions.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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