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Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Cold, Wet Weekend

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What a difference a day can make, particularly at this time of year.

Notice the first map which shows the 24 hour change in temperatures as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. The cold front that came through overnight and the gusty northerly winds behind it have brought more seasonal conditions back to the state, but this particular front was also dry.

As the winds settle down tonight, the colder and drier air in place will result in temperatures falling back into the 20s to start the day on Friday.

Our winds will be very light through Friday, eventually returning to a more SE direction that night and into the day Saturday. We will also have lots of mid-high level cirrus clouds for Friday and with the cold high pressure ridge sitting on top of us, afternoon temperatures will be confined to the 40s.

Clouds will be thickening Friday night as a disturbance aloft moves rather slowly from W to E and that system will bring some widespread rains to the entire state for Saturday into the day Sunday.

Notice the 1-3 day QPF map for example which has the potential for ½” or more of rain across pretty much the entire state.

There are still some timing differences among the different model suites regarding the start and end of this event, but the most important point is that temperatures will be above freezing when it starts and are expected to remain above freezing for the entire event. Thus, the roads will be wet for the weekend, but not icy nor snow covered the way we see things now.

Don't misunderstand, this will be a cold, very wet system, but with the above freezing temperatures that are expected, it will be just that; a cold rainy Saturday and to start the day Sunday.

There is a narrow window of opportunity for a wintry mix or a brief changeover to snow as the precipitation ends on Sunday for the more northern counties. S to SE winds on Saturday will be shifting to the NW Sunday as the system moves on eastward.

That will bring colder air at the surface and aloft back over us but at the same time drier air will be moving in. Thus, no accumulations are currently anticipated although that is a possibility that will be closely monitored over the next few days.

After that, the pattern aloft supports a succession of cold fronts arriving every couple of days with shifting winds and the usual roller coaster ride with respect to temperatures as we go through next week. But, the roller coaster ride will not be as extreme we experienced from yesterday to today.

Instead, we will be generally bouncing around more seasonal temperature levels for much of next week. Also, at this time those systems look to be dry with little or no additional precipitation expected after the weekend.

As far as the month of February is concerned, notice the long range outlook which does not suggest a very strong signal one way or the other, with respect to temperatures, although there is the potential for a wetter than normal month.

That would certainly be welcome as drought continues to rear its ugly head across the state.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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