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Still Cool, Chance of Rain Wednesday.

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As you can see from the first map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, below freezing temperatures were the general rule across the state early this morning. Another freeze looks to be a good bet for tonight, but after that a gradual warming trend is expected to finish out the month of March. It should be no surprise that so far the month is averaging about 5 degrees cooler than normal. By the way, the normal last freeze date for Tulsa is March 29, but we have had a freeze as late as May 2. That was way back in 1909.

Notice the next two maps which are the projections for days 8-14. The below normal temperature signal is just east of us and the precipitation signal is either in the normal or perhaps just a bit above normal range for that period as well. We can have a lot of variability at this time of year so if you are anxiously waiting to put out some frost sensitive plants, might be a good idea to hold out a little longer.

As mentioned, temperatures at or below freezing are in the forecast again tonight after another cool front pushes through the state this evening. This will be a mostly dry system with the only mention of rainfall for the far NE counties and into NW ARK. Temperatures will be warmer today with afternoon highs near 60, but that is still below normal. Near freezing temperatures to start the day Tuesday will be followed by afternoon highs only reaching the low-mid 50s along with northerly winds of 10-15 mph. Any cloud cover today will be clearing out tonight and lots of sunshine is expected for Tuesday.

That will not last long though as the clouds will be on the increase for Wednesday along with strong southerly winds. A disturbance aloft will be responsible for the increasing cloud cover and will also bring a decent chance of showers and rain. A lack of instability suggests just rain and showers for Wednesday, but a more unstable environment Thursday could result in some thunder. A few of those storms could be locally quite strong.

Temperatures Wednesday morning will likely stay just above freezing due to a brisk southerly wind and then as the clouds/rain moves in during the day, afternoon highs should only be in the low-mid 50s. It will not be cooling off much that night with Thursday morning likely holding near 50 along with the clouds and a strong southerly wind. Thursday will have strong S/SW winds ahead of another cool front that will be arriving that evening. That will also set off a chance of showers/storms again on Thursday, particularly late in the day and for the more NE counties.

Afternoon temperatures on Thursday should make it into the lower 70s followed by somewhat cooler conditions Friday with highs in the low-mid 60s. The latest run of the GFS also keeps at least a slight possibility of showers/storms on Friday. After that, the weekend looks promising with daytime highs above normal Saturday and back into the 70s by Sunday.

So, as is often the case with Spring, we have some bumps on the road as temperatures continue their gradual climb upward. Meanwhile, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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