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Cooler Friday, Pleasant Weekend.

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Looks like we have dodged a potential bullet today with the combination of a dry line making it extremely far eastward in advance of a cold front that is pushing across the state overnight. Often that combination will produce some really nasty storms, but so far a layer of warmer air aloft and the lack of sufficient surface convergence has kept any storms from really cranking up here in OK.

Notice, the map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which shows the relative humidity early this evening. Obviously, lots of moisture was still present over the more eastern counties, then there is a dry wedge extending from NE OK into SW OK, followed by some limited moisture just NW of that. The leading edge of the drier air marks the position of the dry line; then notice the humidity levels increase somewhat basically NW of the I-44 corridor. That marks the leading edge of the cool front which because of the cooler temperatures has resulted in higher humidity levels as opposed to the very warm, dry air associated with the dry line. Anyway, it is not often that we get to see that combination this far east and usually when it does, it is associated with a round of severe storms.

This has also been a very windy system as can be seen by the maximum wind gusts map on the right, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Fortunately, the winds will not be nearly as strong over the next few days as the cold front settles on southward tonight, stalls for a time over extreme SE OK, then moves on out of the state. That brief stall may result in some showers/storms over far E and SE OK later tonight and again later on Friday. Northerly winds of 10-15 mph will keep us much cooler though with daytime highs near 60 which will be about 20 degrees below what was recorded today.

The weekend continues to look promising with mostly sunny skies both days and after a cool start Saturday morning, much warmer temperatures. Morning lows will likely be in the 30s to near 40 to start the day Saturday, well into the 60s if not 70 that afternoon along with relatively light winds. Sunday will see a return to gusty southerly winds and warmer temperatures with morning lows in the 40s and afternoon highs well into the 70s if not near 80. Some weaker boundaries will be flirting with the area going into the following week but temperatures will still be quite mild. However, the presence of those boundaries and some energy aloft will provide a slight chance of showers/storms by Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday of next week looks to be more interesting from this vantage point, but that is certainly subject to change. The longer range guidance does suggest a better chance of showers/storms. It remains to be seen if this would produce a severe threat though.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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