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Another Cold Shot Saturday, Much Warmer Early Next Week.

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After a hint of Spring today, Saturday will be a reminder that winter is still hanging around, then back to Spring-like weather early next week before another cool-down comes our way by the middle of the coming week. Ah, March in Oklahoma….a true roller coaster ride.

Before getting around to the specifics, thought a brief look at how March is going so far would be in order. Probably not a surprise that temperatures are running colder than normal, but would you believe that through yesterday, we are currently more than 19 degrees colder than normal. And, that is not even close to being the coldest start to the month of March. The first 6 days of March back in 1960 averaged another 10 degrees colder which is quite remarkable and the same period in 1943 was also colder than our current run.

I mention the above because that will help put today's nice weather in perspective as we will finally be warmer than normal for the first time this month. Normal daytime highs at this time of year are around the 60 degree mark and we should be at or above that this afternoon. Brisk southerly winds through the day today will continue into the night tonight keeping temperatures in the 40s for the most part. Then another cold front will arrive by early morning shifting the winds back to the north and dropping temperatures into the 30s where we will likely stay for the rest of the day. Northerly winds of around 20 mph will make it feel much colder, but at least temperatures will stay above freezing.

Good thing too as some post frontal precipitation will develop off and on through the day Saturday not ending till around midnight that night. Surface temperatures will be in the upper 30s for the most part so this will be a cold rain. The more NW counties and into KS may see a wintry mix or perhaps some brief flurries late in the day, but little or no accumulation is currently anticipated. Wish I could say we were expecting a good soaking from this, but only around ¼" or so is currently anticipated. So far the calendar year of 2014 now stands as the third driest start on record.

After the dreary start to the weekend, at least Sunday is looking good. Skies will be clearing by first thing in the morning leaving bright, sunny skies for the balance of the day. Winds will be light and generally from the north along with afternoon temperatures in the 50s. That will be followed by only the third 70 degree weather we have seen so far this year. January and February both had only one day in which the temperature made it to 70 or more and daytime highs on Monday should make it well into the 70s. Sunny skies and a brisk SW wind will contribute to the Spring-like conditions.

Tuesday will be another transition day as another cold front will be arriving and its timing will make a huge difference in the afternoon temperatures. Lots of sunshine and SW winds will push locations ahead of the front into the 70s, but northerly winds behind the front and mostly cloudy skies will keep those locations in the 50s. The latest and greatest data suggests the front will be arriving late in the day so most of us should make it into the 70s again before the colder air arrives.

Wednesday will have gusty northerly winds and a return to much cooler conditions, but temperatures are a tough call as there remains considerable uncertainty regarding cloud cover and precipitation. For now will go with just a slight chance of rain with highs in the 40s. However, one of the longer range products would suggest much cooler conditions along with some wintry potential. It will likely take another couple of model runs before those differences get resolved. At least this will be a short-lived cool down as temperatures are expected to rebound quickly for later in the week.

Having said that, notice the 8-14 day projections on the right which would cover the week of Spring break. We are still on the western fringe of a rather strong below normal temperature signal as well as a below normal precipitation signal. That suggests additional cool fronts coming through during that week to suppress the warming trend that will still take place and also that those fronts will for the most part be dry systems.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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