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Record Warm Start to December.

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What a day for this first day of December. For Tulsa, not only did we start off by tying the record for the warmest morning low but we followed that up by tying the record daytime high. The map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, shows just how warm this day has been across the state. Not only that, but this record warm start to the month of December follows on the heels of another warmer than normal month in November. This past month averaged more than 2 degrees above normal and since Sep of 2011, there has only been one month that was cooler than normal and that was this past October. We remain on pace to break the previous record for the warmest calendar year on record. Along with the warmth, we remain much too dry with no real drought relief in sight.

That is not to say we will have no rain at all, just that the prospects of some real, widespread, drought relief remain rather bleak. In fact, we have a chance of showers and possibly even some thunder Monday night as our next cool front arrives, but most of that rain will be confined to the more eastern counties and will be moving along rather quickly so that rainfall totals even there will probably be only on the order of ¼ inch or so.

Between now and then, we will be close to setting records again Sunday and Monday. For tonight, our winds will be diminishing and becoming more SW in direction, particularly for the more western counties. That will bring somewhat drier air in from the west allowing temperatures to drop into the 40s and lower 50s for the more western counties while the more eastern counties will likely stay around the 60 degree mark. Cloud cover will be the wild card regarding how warm we will be Sunday afternoon, and we should see a mix of clouds and sun together with the S/SW surface winds and afternoon temperatures well into the 70s.

Strong southerly winds will be the rule for Sunday night and Monday ahead of the approaching cool front so that morning lows will be near 60 Monday morning and well into the 70s during the day. The cooler air moving in behind the front for Tuesday will only be cooler relative to how warm we are ahead of it as temperatures will still be above normal. Wednesday and Thursday will also be warmer than normal followed by another front arriving on Friday. That will bring a chance of showers/storms and a cool-down going into that weekend, but only to near normal conditions.

We are getting into the time of year in which we typically start seeing some really cold air come this way. Some of the longer range guidance is hinting at that possibility, but am not going to get too excited about the prospects until better run to run and inter-model consistency develops.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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