Tulsa is enjoying unseasonably cool temperatures this week. The experts say that's no reason to worry about winter.
TULSA, Oklahoma -
It's July in Oklahoma but a cold front has brought fall-like weather to Tulsa. Thousands of people will be outside enjoying the break from the heat this week, but some will be worrying that this cool summer signals the coming of a cold winter.
Relax and enjoy the cool temperatures. That's what the experts say.
News On 6 Meteorologist Stacia Knight says there's no correlation between what kind of summer Tulsa has and what kind of winter follows it.
"There's no evidence that a cool summer leads to a cool winter," she said.
Knight says summer and winter in Oklahoma are driven by different jet streams, so there's no way the weather they bring can be connected. In the winter, the jet stream or upper-level highway of wind swoops down from the north, bringing cold air with it.
In the summer, the jet stream slides far to the north, allowing warm and moist air from the south to flood into Oklahoma, so Knight says it's not possible for there to be a correlation between a summer and the following winter, whether the summer is hot or cold.
Research from the National Weather Service office in Tulsa backs her up. In 2004, NWS meteorologist Nicole Kempf studied data from Tulsa summers dating back to 1905. She compiled a list of the 33 coolest summers, then compared the winters that followed each one.
Here's what she found:
33 cooler than normal Tulsa summers
10 summers -- colder than normal winters 11 summers -- warmer than normal winters 12 summers -- normal winters
Kempf said she also looked at data from Fort Smith and found similar results; no correlation between a cool summer and a cold winter. You can read more about her research here.
News On 6 Meteorologist Stacia Knight had simple advice for anyone worried about what kind of winter Tulsa will have: "Enjoy this nice break from the heat and don't spend any time worrying about winter."
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