Expect a sun-cloud mix today with highs in the upper 60s near 70. A strong cold front arrives overnight bringing much colder air back to the state this weekend. A chance for some rain changing to sleet or snow is a possibility late Saturday night into pre-dawn Sunday across extreme Eastern OK and Western Arkansas. The higher likelihood for wintry precip at this point is just east of Tulsa.
The upper level system that brought to the rain to the area the past two days is now rapidly moving northeast toward Chicago this morning. We'll be on the back side of this departing system and will experience almost spring like weather today with a sun-cloud mix, gusty southwest winds, and highs near 70. The warm air will only last today before the cold air rolls back across the area this weekend.
A long wave trough to out west will drop out of the polar stream and park itself across the intermountain region for the next 48 to 60 hours. At the surface, a cold front will enter our immediate area by midnight and will clear the southeastern OK area early Saturday morning before stalling nearby. Daytime highs in Tulsa tomorrow afternoon may move into the upper 40s but temps would drop into the lower 40s by late in the afternoon with mostly cloudy conditions.
Because the upper trough is hanging back to our west, a disturbance is expected to round the base of the trough late Saturday afternoon and rotate near the area into Sunday morning. Some moisture may attempt to ride along or slightly behind the boundary Saturday night into the pre-dawn Sunday time period. At first, temps would support mainly rain across eastern OK as the precip begins. But later Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday, temps both at the surface and aloft would support a sleet to snow mix near or slightly east of Tulsa, while locations eastward ( NW ARK) would support more of a freezing rain possibility. The overall consensus in the model data has shifted the precip slightly westward and closer to the Tulsa area, but this precip, IF it occurs, would be mainly rain. Some locations across extreme NE OK could be in the running for a small area of sleet and snow overnight Saturday into early Sunday. The freezing rain potential may be slightly higher across NW Ark. The duration of the event would not last long but some travel disruptions would be possible IF the precip falls. The confidence on the exact location of the precip possibilities remain low, even at this point in the forecast cycle being just 3 days away. There's no reason to hoist the flag, beat the drum, or round up the horses, but you should remain aware of this probability for the Sat pm and Sun morning time period.
We do have a high confidence that afternoon temps will drop well below the seasonal average Sunday through Tuesday with daytime highs in the 30s Sunday through Tuesday and moving into the mid-40s Wednesday. Morning lows will drop to the upper teens and lower 20s for the early part of next week.
The upper air pattern may also support another system nearing the area by late next week. EURO ensemble data would lend support to an upper level low nearing the region late next week with some precipitation potential.
The high in Tulsa yesterday was 57.
The normal daily average includes a high of 47 and a low of 28.
Daily records include a high of 80 recorded on this date in 1911 and a low of -6 from 1977.
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