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Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: A Dry January; Outlook For February

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That weekend rain was certainly a blessing, particularly for the more western counties. Notice the 72 hour rainfall map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, and you can see just about the entire state received ½” or more of good, soaking rainfall.

There were even a few brief snow flurries mixed in for some locations Sunday night, but obviously no accumulations.

However, when we consider the total moisture we received over the course of the month of January, it has been another dry month. Notice the second map, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet, which shows the departure from normal.

As you can see, NE OK in particular has been too dry once again and in fact the official observation maintained at Tulsa International Airport shows that we were nearly an inch below normal for the month of January with only a trace of snow.

This is normally our driest time of the year anyway, but just goes to show how important that cold rain was over the weekend.

Although we ended the month on a cold, wet note and the month began with over two weeks of very cold conditions, the month turned out to be 0.7 degrees warmer than normal.

Since December was much warmer than normal, as well as drier than normal, it is looking more and more like this winter will likely turn out to be a relatively mild one. Even so, keep in mind that, historically, our heaviest snows have occurred in Feb/Mar, so winter is not over yet by a long shot.

In the for what it's worth department, and speaking of winter, today is Groundhog Day, which also happens to mark the half-way point in the calendar regarding winter.

According to legend, if the groundhog sees his shadow that is supposed to scare him back into his hibernating hole and portend another 6 weeks of winter. Today's sunny skies here in Oklahoma obviously would mean anything that goes outside will see a shadow.

After a cold day today, we will have a nice rebound on Tuesday followed by another cold shot arriving during the day Wednesday, a cold one again for Thursday followed by another nice rebound heading into the weekend.

In other words, quite a roller coaster ride ahead of us as you can see on our forecast page.

The only thing noteworthy will be the potential for some wintry weather late Wednesday into early Thursday on the heels of our next cold shot. Current indications suggest we will just receive a glancing blow from that particular system with a dusting to perhaps some low end totals for the more NE counties.

This does not currently appear to be a high impact event but subsequent model runs will be closely monitored in case that should change.

Looking further ahead, there is no well-defined climatic signal for the month of February as you can see from the long range outlooks.

The EC on the maps just means there is an Equal Chance that we will be below normal, above normal, or near normal for those forecast conditions during the month. That is because there are no strong, long term climatic drivers that would produce a more definitive signal.

Often in a situation such as this there will be some anomalous short term patterns that will develop that can produce with some interesting late winter weather, but those are often not very well foreseen very far in advance.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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