Get ready for a major change later today as a powerful cold front blasts across the state bringing the coldest air of the season to the region. Our highs today may reach the upper 60s but we'll be fortunate to move into the lower 40s tomorrow afternoon for highs. There will be a slight chance of light precipitation along and behind the boundary for a few hours tonight. Most of the precipitation will be gone before the really cold air arrives, but there will be a small window for some sleet across extreme NE Ok and SE Kansas between 10pm and 1am. No significant impacts will occur.
This air mass is an Arctic blend and will be very shallow in nature. The majority of the cold air will remain north and northeast of our region but we'll get a nice shot of this colder air to keep us in the cold stuff through Thursday morning. Thursday midday to afternoon strong south winds will rapidly return bringing low level moisture quickly into the state Friday into the weekend.
At least two waves will be nearing the state with some shower-storm chances Thursday night into Friday and then again this weekend. Some instability will be increasing Saturday and there will be a chance of thunderstorms in the Saturday forecast across eastern OK and western Arkansas. Extended data also supports another strong cold front rolling across the southern plains next Monday and Tuesday with another shot of very cold air.
Today's front is currently located across central and southern Nebraska and will rapidly move southward over the next few hours. These boundaries typically speed up and arrive early and not late compared to model data suggestions. I have decided to suggest a frontal timing of 5pm to 7pm this evening across northern OK and rolling across the southeastern part of the state from 8pm to 10pm. I would rather be early with this one so you'll be prepared for this cold air mass. Take the coat if you're going to be out late this evening. Strong north winds will develop behind the boundary in the 15 to 30 mph range with some gusts nearing 40 mph for a few hours this evening into early Tuesday morning. Cloud cover this evening will quickly clear out pre-dawn Tuesday with almost full sunshine for the day. But Tuesday afternoon highs may stay in the upper 30s or lower 40s despite the sunshine due to the strong cold air advection in the atmosphere.
Freezing temps are expected Tuesday morning and a freeze warning has been posted for a large chunk of the state. Even colder air will be likely Wednesday morning and a hard freeze warming has already been posted for the hours of 6pm Tuesday through 11am Wednesday.
Wednesday morning should start in the upper teens to lower 20s with light winds and clear sky. This will allow a hard killing freeze across most of northern Ok and southern Kansas. Small tender unprotected plants will not survive these Wednesday morning temperatures. Wednesday afternoon will be sunny and chilly with highs in the upper 40s along with light wind.
Thursday into Friday begins another active weather pattern already discussed earlier in the post.
The normal daily average high is and the low 63 and 42.
The official high in Tulsa yesterday was is 68 recorded at 3:13pm.
Our daily records include a high of 85 from 1989 and 1911. The daily record low is 17 from 1950.
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I'll be discussing the forecast on numerous Radio Oklahoma News Network affiliates across the state this morning through the noon hour.
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