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Old Man Winter Meets May in Oklahoma

Old Man Winter Meets May in Oklahoma

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It's typically the height of severe weather season in the Sooner State… instead, we're dealing with the latest bout of wintry weather on record! The National Weather Service officially recorded a "trace" of snow on May 2nd, shattering the record for latest snowfall from April 18, 1953. This remarkably deep cold core low pressure system took what cold air it could find and brought it directly down to our region of the country. It was a forceful blow of cold air like the last several cold blasts that we've seen. However, this one is different because it's lingering overhead as a cut-off low pressure system and allowing for just the right amount of cold air to create that transition from rain to sleet and snow. In a few locations in far eastern Oklahoma, it got just cold enough at the surface overnight to leave a layer of snow on the ground. Check out the attached photo: a winter wonderland in… May! Fortunately, it didn't stick around long or add up too much, preventing downed trees and power outages.

We're not done with this incredibly late visit from Old Man Winter just yet. The low pressure is spinning its wheels just to our east allowing moisture to wrap around and move back into Green Country. This time, it probably won't turn our region white, but a few snowflakes may still mix in with the rain showers. Through Saturday midday, clouds and showers will be prevalent with temperatures running at least 20° below normal.

The good news for Tulsa and many other areas is that we've avoided that dreaded latest freeze on record (by a hair in spots). Increasing moisture and general temperature modification thanks to a very high sun angle this time of year will keep us just warm enough to avoid dipping below that crucial mark. However, wind chill is a different story. Gusty winds will continue into Saturday, which could bring the "feels like" temperature, at times, into the 20s. Earlier Friday morning, that wind chill dropped to an unbelievable 11° in Boise City, in the Oklahoma panhandle (see 2nd map). With actual lows in the lower 20s out there combined with an exceptional drought, it'll be another season of poor or no crop production.

This upper-level low will slowly meander eastward. (It's the bowling ball shaped system in the 3rd map). By Sunday, its influence begins to fade away, more sunshine returns, and temperatures will climb. By early next week, we're back into the 70s and possibly over 80 by mid-week. It's NOT hard to be warm in May here… but everything has to align just perfectly to see the temperatures we've had over the past couple days. While we freeze, Toronto, Canada has been basking in 70° warmth for several days on end! Our turn for the warm-up is near, but we've got another day or two for this wintry spell to fade away.

No other cold "blasts" are on the horizon, but more cold fronts are sure to come through later in the month… late next week appears to be the next one. However, the strength and longevity of those cool-downs will be less. Therefore, I think it'll be fully safe to finally plant those poor tomato plants in the ground starting this weekend.

Stay warm and be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and like me on Facebook!

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