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A Look Back and a Look Ahead.

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Been a little remiss in keeping the blog updated this week. Now that we are at the end of the month, will take a look back as well as a look ahead.

First of all, a look ahead as some of the gardeners need to be aware of the potential for patchy frost by early morning, particularly in the more protected valley locations. Skies will be generally clear overnight and the winds will be calming down allowing for excellent radiational cooling. Temperatures are expected to drop into the mid-upper 30s so the month of May will get off to a chilly start. More sunshine and fewer clouds are then expected during the day which should bring daytime highs into at least the mid 60s. That is still about 10 degrees below normal.

After that, a pattern change will be taking place aloft as the upper level flow becomes more zonal and eventually more from the SW for our part of the country. That will result in a big time warm-up through the weekend and throughout all of next week. At the surface, our winds will also return to a southerly direction but moisture return will be limited to the lowest layer of the atmosphere so that our rain chances will be pretty much in the slim to none category throughout this forecast cycle.

However, the combination mentioned above will also result in our night warming from the lower 40s Friday morning to near 50 Saturday morning to the 60s for all of next week. During the day, we will be well into the 70s Friday, 80s Sunday and Monday, and near 90 by the middle of the week. By later in the week, more clouds should be moving in limiting the warm-up somewhat. The longer range guidance does not suggest any chance of showers/storms until late next week or perhaps into the weekend.

That means our current dry spell will continue. Notice the departure from normal rainfall map on the right, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. The entire state is anywhere from 2-8" or so below normal since the first of the year. For Tulsa, we are more than 5" below normal. To put this in perspective, this is the 4th driest start to a calendar year on record for Tulsa. The driest start was 1936 which was in the middle of the dust bowl drought years so that does not bode well for us. Interestingly, the second driest start to a year was 1943 but that was followed by a record wet May in which 18" fell. So, we can go from drought to flood pretty fast and we had better be careful what we wish for. Even so, it sure would be nice to get some nice Spring rains but as mentioned above the prospects are pretty slim for now.

Notice the second map on the right which is the 7 day QPF which has the state pretty much high and dry with only a remote chance of a few showers/storms out west. The prospects for the following week are a little more promising. Will have more about that in tomorrow's blog.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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