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Chilly Weekend, Warmer Next Week.

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In my most recent posting, I referred to the very strong disturbance aloft as an 800 pound gorilla which was pretty much doing whatever it wanted. Notice the first graphic on the right which shows the initialization at around 18,000 feet as of first thing this morning. The 800 pound gorilla was centered just NE of us and the very cold air aloft as well as at the surface associated with this very anomalous system was producing some light rain across much of NE OK this morning and a rain/snow mix just across the state line at Joplin, Mo. Yep, that's right,snow was reported in Joplin this morning.  That system will continue to wobble around through the day today and tonight before finally beginning to lose its grip and get pushed on eastward.

To say the weather associated with this system has been unusual is a vast understatement. Notice the low temperatures across the state this morning, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which is the second map on the right. Those numbers are just crazy for this time of year. In fact, here in Tulsa the period of May 2-4 will be the coldest on record for those dates by a long shot and more than 30 degrees colder than we were at this time last year. In case you have forgotten, last year at this time we were pushing 90 degrees each day on the way to setting an all-time record for the warmest calendar year ever. What a difference a year can make!

Even 800 pound gorillas will weaken if they do not have a source of energy.  In this case, the lack of additional cold air to tap into as well as the time of year and the high sun angle will cause it to lose its grip and it will slowly weaken and wobble on eastward.

However, that will be a slow process and we will be overcast with periods of light rain and continued much below normal temperatures for the rest of today. Look for our daytime highs to be closer to what our normal overnight lows would be at this time of year; that is the mid 50s at best. Brisk NW winds will make it feel even cooler.  As the system wobbles on to the east, any additional

threat of rain will be ending tonight, but we will keep overcast skies to start the day Sunday. By that afternoon, am cautiously optimistic that the clouds will thin out and allow for the sun to break through. The high sun angle at this time of year can warm things up rather quickly so afternoon highs should reach well into the 60s which is still well below the mid-upper 70s that is normal for this time of year.

After that, the coming week will see a gradual return to more normal May conditions with daytime highs near 80 by Wednesday and brisk southerly winds. However, another cold front will be approaching and should be moving across the state on Friday followed by northerly winds and cooler conditions again for the coming weekend. Along and ahead of the front will be chances for spring-time showers/storms which would also imply the potential for some severe storms. Notice the QPF map on the right which is valid through this coming Saturday morning. We stand to pick up an additional inch or so of rain by the time it is all said and done. Although that weekend will see another cool-down it will be nothing compared to what we are currently experiencing.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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