The leading edge of colder air is rapidly moving southeast and will enter our area soon. Temps may still move into the upper 40s or even the lower 50s by midday before dropping this afternoon back into the lower 40s. Some dense fog will continue to be an issue for a few locations this morning before strong winds from the north help to mix the atmosphere. The winter storm watch remains for portions of the state and will likely be upgraded to warnings soon.
Latest data has shifted most of the Thursday precip to the southwest of the I-44 corridor and delays the on-set until midday Thursday. There could be some very light precipitation developing around sunrise tomorrow morning to our southwest and rapidly expanding to the northeast by midday, but the NAM suggest this may stay south of the I-44 corridor. The temps will support some freezing rain across southeastern OK into the east-central portion of the state. By Thursday midday the air mass will support mainly snow across far north central to northern OK but again, most of the moisture will be located to the southeast of I-44. Significant icing is a possibility with the Thursday midday batch of precipitation across east-central and southeastern OK while the sleet and snow potential near the I-44 area including the Tulsa metro may remain relatively light.
Late Thursday night into Friday morning additional precipitation is expected to develop to our southwest and expand in coverage over a larger area of northeastern OK. The profile of air would support mainly snow near Tulsa with sleet to snow mixture across east central areas. This Friday morning batch will slide east-northeast out of the area by midday to early afternoon. At this hour (330am Wed) it appears this wave will have the biggest impact on the immediate Tulsa metro.
The third wave will approach Saturday evening into Sunday morning mainly across the eastern third of the state producing light snow. Some data suggest the temp profile may support some freezing drizzle in spots, but I think the air mass should remain sufficiently deep enough for some light snow.
Temperatures will be chilly today and turning frigid tonight. Another surge of arctic air will arrive Thursday night bringing some the coldest air of the season Friday night into Saturday morning across northern OK. Some single digits will be likely for Saturday morning lows with wind chill values in the 0 to -6 range. Afternoon highs beginning Thursday and lasting through Wednesday may stay below freezing. Preparations should already be completed to prepare for this prolonged sub-freezing period. But there's still time to make plans today. Exposed pipes may freeze. Outdoor water sources for cattle may also freeze by Friday evening. Pets should have adequate water and shelter from the cold air. And of course, check on elderly residents and young children who are more susceptible to the impacts of cold weather.
The exact location, amounts, and precipitation types for this event are still subject to change.
I'm not good at predicting what local school administrators will do regarding winter weather closures, but some school closures will be possible with this system.
If the ice forecast verifies, some power outages may occur across south-central and east-central OK Thursday late into the evening hours.
The official high in Tulsa yesterday was 61 recorded at 4:01pm.
The normal daily average high is 52 and the low is 32.
Records include a high of 77 from 1906 and a low of 16 from 2006.
I'll be discussing the forecast on numerous Radio Oklahoma News Network affiliates across the state through the noon hour.
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