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Marching Toward Warmer, Greener Days

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In the past few days, I've noticed quite a few signs that spring is arriving and our forecast for the rest of the week confirms it. While Oklahoma is still caught in a cool spell, warm air is building to our southwest and is ready to surge north into our region later this week. Our average high temperature for this point in March is in the lower 60s. The next day or so will feature below-normal temperatures, but that all changes Thursday as 70° readings become commonplace. By Friday, we may have a few 80° spots on the local map!

Compared to last year though, our spring arrival is lagging a bit. 2012 was the warmest year on record and March was extremely anomalous with only 5 days with below-average temperatures. In fact, the high on this date last year was nearly 20° warmer that today. Our friends at the Oklahoma Mesonet provided us with two interesting maps comparing the "greenness" of our vegetation to last year at this time. The first map is 2012 and the second is this year. We are on the cusp of a big "green-up" here in Green Country, but last year at this time, it was well underway.

Our weekend bout of rain and storms also is helping spring to kick into gear. We enjoyed a nice soaking, especially southeast of the Tulsa metro area where 1" to 3" rainfall amounts were common. This will be reflected in the new Drought Monitor that will be released on Thursday. With more rain in our buckets/reservoirs and our wet season lying before us, we're hoping this drought will subside greatly.

More rain is in the forecast this weekend. An unsettled pattern will keep a frontal boundary in the area for a few days giving us several opportunities for rain starting as early as Saturday evening. That storm system will also cool our temperatures a bit, but still no late season wintry weather is showing up in our computer models. The jet stream is starting to retreat further to the north, keeping the colder air locked up well away from us Oklahomans.

If you haven't caught spring fever, the rest of the week may do the trick. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and "like" me on Facebook!

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