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No Travel Woes for Oklahoma this Turkey Day

No Travel Woes for Oklahoma this Turkey Day

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Weather is critical in the final stretch of November as many of us head to grandmother's house.  Fortunately, it looks like we catch a major break from any significant travel issues in our area of the country.  That may not be the case for the Eastern Seaboard.  While it may be dry for the week ahead, we'll still see some big fluctuations in our temperatures.

                In the wake of a wet weekend, (where eastern Oklahoma received anywhere from a few tenths of an inch to a few inches of rain) we're drying out and cooling down again.  This is no major push of Arctic air, but we'll drop below normal for our Tuesday temperatures.  In a northwesterly flow pattern in the jet stream, the conveyer belt of cold fronts will keep those readings from warming too much through Thanksgiving itself.  Expect highs in the 50s with lows dipping near the freezing mark through midweek.  It's great news for travelers with dry weather and sunshine dominating the region.  However, it's a little boring, isn't it?

                Following Turkey Day, temperatures will climb well above normal as the jet stream becomes zonal (due west to east flow).  That means Black Friday shoppers won't have to have frosty noses while waiting outside their favorite store early in the morning.  South winds will kick up that day, pushing in a warm air mass for late November.  We may even enjoy an afternoon of 70s on Saturday, ahead of our next cold front that will briefly shut off the late season warmth.

                Allow me to get nerdy for a moment.  The Arctic Oscillation is a measurement of air pressure anomalies in the higher latitudes.  What that does is tell us where the jet stream positioning is.  A negative anomaly would indicate a big dip in the jet stream, allowing cold air to spill southward.  A positive anomaly indicated a ridge or at least a further north jet stream than normal, generally indicating a warmer pattern for us.  As you can see in the attached map, this index was sharply negative in mid-November, corresponding to our major cold spell. The jet stream was displaced quite a bit to the south from normal.  For the end of November into early December, that index is positive, which corresponds to our unseasonable warmth.  This pattern dips closer to neutral into December, but still keeps the Arctic air at bay.

                That AO index points towards a warmer-than-normal start to the month of December. At first glance, 60s and maybe even a 70° day can't be ruled out along with a possible round of storms at some point that week.  That 8-14 Day Outlook shows that winter weather probably won't make a return to our region until we're deeper in the December.

                Out east, a coastal storm will bring cold rain and snow just in time for the big travel day Wednesday affecting the entire urban corridor.  As that system pulls away, more lake effect snow is likely for the Buffalo. Those poor folks just can't catch a break!  We should be thankful for our good fortune in the weather world here in Oklahoma!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

                Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page!

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