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Showers/Storms Likely Sunday.

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Notice the map on the right which is showing the low temperatures across the state early this morning, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. To put those numbers in perspective, the normal daytime high for Tulsa at this time of year is 64. By the way, so far the low today in Tulsa has been 64 and that stands as a record warm minimum temperature for this date.

These extremely warm temperatures are due to the strong southerly winds which have not calmed down much during the overnight hours. Despite more cloud cover today, those southerly winds should still be in the 20-35 mph range again this afternoon. More moisture has also returned with those winds as the dew point temperature, which is the temperature of saturation, has risen into the upper 50s. There is also more moisture aloft which will result in a mix of sun and clouds with more clouds than sun for the most part. That should limit our daytime highs to the mid-upper 70s for this afternoon.

There might even be an isolated sprinkle or two today, but a layer of warmer air aloft will provide a cap on any potential storms. That will be changing later tonight and on Sunday when a strong cold front will be entering the state and pushing rapidly on through. Look for it to be reaching locations E of I-35 first thing Sunday morning, should be pushing through the I-44 corridor before Noon, and on through the E part of the state by early afternoon. Showers/storms will be widespread all along this cold front and you can expect to receive at least some rainfall.  There may also be some marginally severe storms embedded with the primary threat being wind/hail.

However, the rapid movement will likely keep the rainfall totals under an inch with the far E and SE counties the most likely locations to receive that much. In other words, there will be a pronounced E-W gradient in the rainfall totals with the far western counties likely receiving the least amount. Let's face it, we could all use a good soaking and while this will not be a drought breaker by any stretch, at least it will bring enough rain to alleviate the fire danger and settle the dust for a few days.

It will also bring sharply colder weather with temperatures ahead of the cold front Sunday morning likely in the 60s along with gusty southerly winds; then falling into the upper 40s by the end of the day along with gusty northerly winds. Skies will be clearing Sunday night and the winds will be subsiding which will allow for sub-freezing temperatures to start the day Monday. Monday afternoon will only be near 50 under sunny skies and a return to light S to SW winds. After that, sunny skies and southerly winds will moderate temperatures somewhat for the rest of next week.

Our next chance for rain looks to be on Friday or Saturday of next week, and right now this does not look to be all that impressive of a system. In fact, the longer range guidance is not very consistent with one of the products suggesting what rain it will produce on Friday and another holding it off till Saturday. For now, will go with a slight chance for Fri into Sat until a better consensus develops.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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