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Round One Friday; Round Two On The Way

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Friday was round one.

Snow was expected, but as is often the case, there were some surprises regarding location and amounts. One of the limiting factors that was anticipated was how dry the lower levels were and when or even if the snow that fell would be able to saturate down to the surface and start to accumulate. It took awhile, but obviously the snowfall rate was able to overcome those very dry lower levels and reach the surface.

Another factor is that often there will be a band of locally heavier snow rates that will persist over a relatively narrow location and those banding features are of too small a scale to be anticipated in advance. As a result, there were widespread light snows over the entire state but a few locations received much more due to that banding feature and the difference from one location with lighter amounts to those that have the heavier amounts can and often will be only a few miles.

Round one is winding down this evening and early tonight, but round two is headed our way and will be impacting the state by early Saturday morning. Since temperatures are going nowhere tonight and will struggle to get above freezing Saturday, this will start off as a snow event for much of the day. However, as the day wears on our surface winds will eventually become more SE which together with a more SW wind aloft will gradually warm the air column from south to north. Eventually, the snow will transition to a mix of snow/sleet/rain and eventually more of a rain/sleet type event. Cannot rule out some icing for early Sunday morning as temperatures will be close to freezing to start the day.

Outside of some localized banding that may occur again tomorrow, most locations should pick up another 1-3” of snow with perhaps more over the counties along the OK/KS state line. Since the warm air advection will be from S to N by afternoon, then the transition from snow to eventually rain will take place more quickly over the more southern counties and limit the total amounts even further.

We set a record today for coldest maximum temperature and although records are not expected on Saturday, it will still be cold with temperature holding steady tonight and only slowly warming into the low-mid 30s by late afternoon. Saturday night temperatures will not change much but may be near the freezing mark Sunday morning. Then we should be above freezing all day Sunday along with overcast skies and some drizzle or light rain.

Monday should see a bit of a break with only a slight chance of rain and temperatures in the 40s, warmer yet for Tuesday with gusty southerly winds in advance of another strong cold front coming our way which may set off some showers and perhaps even some thunder. That will be round three and should be the last one in this particular sequence of weather makers.

It will be much colder again for Wednesday and to start the day Thursday, but after that we finally get a break in this pattern with more sunshine and moderating temperatures going into next weekend. By the way, that weekend will also mark the return to daylight savings time. Also, notice the 8-14 day outlooks which suggest a more normal temperature pattern during that period along with a more settled weather pattern.

So hang in there; there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Dick Faurot

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