TULSA, Oklahoma - Once again, another very warm day today, in fact, a record-setting day for some locations, including McAlester at 93; Tulsa topped out at 90, which is a degree short of tying a record.

From the OK Mesonet, the max/min temperature map once again shows quite a temperature range with 40s to low 50s to start the day and 80s and 90s to end the day. To keep things in perspective, the normal range here in Tulsa is 73/51.

That is changing as I write, as a vigorous cool front is pushing across the state and it will be much cooler in the days ahead. Gusty N/NE winds for the overnight hours and to start the day Friday will make it feel much cooler than the low 50s we are forecasting.

Cloudy morning skies should give way to at least some sunshine by afternoon and daytime highs will recover to the upper 60s to near 70; in other words, some 20 degrees or more below where we were this afternoon.

There will also be some showers, and possibly even some thunder for the overnight hours and into the early morning, but amounts will be mostly on the light side and will not do much more than settle the dust for most locations.

Our next chance of rain looks to be around the middle of next week, but the long range guidance is now backing off on that signal, so will have to take a wait and see approach for the additional data runs to see if this trend continues.

At any rate, between now and then we will be much cooler going through the weekend, as you can see on our forecast page. After a gusty NE wind for much of Friday, a lighter E/SE wind is expected for Saturday followed by a return to S/SE winds for Sunday and into early next week. Unfortunately, those southerly winds will also become strong and gusty and along with the warmer temperatures will create another high fire danger situation.

As mentioned above, the next storm system will be approaching by the middle of the week with our next chance of rain, but those chances have been dropped as the longer range guidance now suggests some shifts in the focus for the stronger forcing. As you can see on the 7-day QPF map, the better forcing and the higher potential rainfall amounts have shifted further S and W of Green Country.

At any rate, we will be warming back to well above normal temperatures until that next system arrives, which now looks to be late Wednesday. That will be followed by more seasonal temperatures for the rest of the week and into that following weekend.

In case you missed it, the official winter outlook has been released by the Climate Prediction Center and is shown on the last two maps. Much more will be said about this in the days ahead, but of particular interest in the cool/wet signal just south and west of Green Country. That is fairly typical of the ongoing El Nino, but there are many other climate drivers that can and do play an important role, so there is more involved than just the El Nino contribution.

At any rate, you can see that our side of the state in the dreaded equal chances category, meaning there is an equal change of above/below/or normal for temperature and precipitation. Will let you know for sure along about March!

At any rate, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot