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Another Look Ahead Into Christmas Week

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

For much of this week, I have spent some of my forecast discussion centered around events leading up to Christmas Day by analyzing the long range data provided by the Global Forecast System(GFS). For example, the first map shown has the solution that was derived from data initialized this past Tuesday at 6 AM and the forecast is valid for 6 PM, Dec 23. You may recall that I indicated that particular solution would strongly suggest a significant snowstorm for the state which would leave snow on the ground for Christmas Day; in other words a White Christmas.

The same forecast time frame for data initialized Wed morning and yesterday morning are shown in yesterday's blog and you can go back and read that if desired as I will not show them this time. Needless to say, the subsequent solutions have painted a much different picture and that trend has continued with today's solution as shown on the second map. Notice the absence of any precipitation anywhere close by the state of Oklahoma. Since this solution is in keeping with the last couple of days, the run to run consistency suggests it is more reliable. T

hat is why I strongly suggested using that longer range guidance from last Tuesday with a big grain of salt and not taking it as Gospel Truth. Of course, at even this time frame there is still the possibility of another flip-flop so will continue to monitor the model trends. Having said, that the current trends suggest no weather related travel problems anywhere around the state for Christmas Day nor for the couple of days leading up to Christmas.

Between now and then though there are several very powerful storm systems that will be impacting the state with the potential for some very wet conditions. However, given the lack of any really cold air anywhere close by, these still look to be all liquid events.

The first one will be primarily impacting us Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. Despite the overcast skies, tonight and much of Saturday will only see some drizzle/fog/misty conditions from time to time and very little in the way of actual shower activity. As the storm system aloft moves across the state on Sunday, widespread showers and some thunderstorms will move from west to east and should be reaching us during the afternoon and evening hours. A few storms could become marginally severe with primarily a wind/hail risk. Notice the 3 day QPF map which is valid through Monday morning and you can see the potential for an inch or more of rain for some locations as well.

Temperatures will hold in the upper 40s or lower 50s to start the day Saturday and should be well into the 50s to start the day Sunday. Gusty southerly winds both Saturday and Sunday along with the potential for a few breaks in the clouds should push our daytime highs well into the 60s both days. That means that for the Tulsa Christmas Parade Saturday evening, temperatures will likely be in the lower 60s under cloudy skies and with a gusty southerly wind. Our shower chances are minimal though until the big storm arrives later Sunday.

That will be followed by gusty northerly winds and more seasonal temperatures for Monday with any lingering showers ending that morning. Should see more sunshine on Tuesday but clouds will be returning by Wednesday afternoon and we will see little if any sunshine for the rest of the week and into that weekend. That next storm system also looks to be very wet when it gets to Oklahoma with a chance of showers by Wednesday afternoon and again on Thursday. Right now, rain looks to be a good bet for Friday and perhaps into the weekend. Although temperatures aloft will be colder with this particular system, the lack of any cold air near the surface still leads me to think this should be an all liquid event as well.

As you can see by the last two images, the 8-14 day outlook which takes through Christmas Day still suggests temperatures will average above normal through that time period along with some unsettled weather. Right now, the unsettled weather looks most likely for the early part of that time period and not affecting Christmas Day itself.

As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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