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Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Moderating Temperatures Upcoming, Warmer Later Next Week

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Max. and min. temps. Max. and min. temps.
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Another chilly day today as the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet clearly shows. However, some moderation will take place not only tonight and Wednesday but right on through the coming weekend and into next week.

As you can see from the 7 day forecast on our weather page, no major temperature swings are expected through the 7 day forecast cycle. After a relatively cool Wednesday, temperatures will actually be trending closer to normal despite several fronts that will be affecting the state over that period. At this time of year, that means a morning low in the low 30s and a daytime high in the low 50s. However, there will be chances of rain on a number of days, particularly Thursday night into the day Friday which looks to be the wettest day of this forecast cycle.

What I really wanted to focus on though is the longer range guidance which suggests quite a change from what we have experienced for the month of November and so far for December. Keep in mind that November was in the top ten for coldest Novembers and so far December is certainly getting off to a cold start. As mentioned above, the 7 day forecast cycle is closer to normal with respect to temperatures so some moderation will be occurring, but notice the 8-14 day outlook and it is obvious that the pattern will be much different over those days.

As is evident, there is a strong signal that much of the country will average well above normal during that week long period and there will be chances of precipitation as well. Why the big change you ask? Well, it is all tied to the wind flow aloft and I have included a forecast of the jet stream level at about 30,000', or the 300 mb level if you are familiar with vertical pressure levels. This map is from the GFS forecast cycle initialized at Noon today and is valid for Thursday of next week.

The colors represent where the strongest winds at that level are located, ie the jet stream if you will. Of particular interest is that this is primarily a very zonal, progressive pattern in that there is not much of a N/S component to the winds at that level. This more zonal or W to E pattern tends to keep the colder air bottled up in the North Country and makes it more difficult for it to penetrate very far southward.

That is why that week of Dec 10-16 should average much warmer than normal for much of the country. That is not to say there will not be any cool fronts, just that they will be coming at us from the west instead of from the north allowing temperatures to stay relatively mild for this time of year. That would also translate into a more sustained southerly wind for much of that period which would imply more moisture available and with the progressive nature of systems more opportunities for showers and possibly some storms.

More about that in tomorrow's blog.

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

Dick Faurot

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