The Fall Chill Is Settling Into Oklahoma
It has been a finicky fall so far. Just when it felt like cool, crisp days were here to say, temperatures soared to readings more common of Labor Day. 15 of the past 25 days have brought above-normal high temperatures to Tulsa, most of those coming in the past 2 weeks. No wonder days with highs in the 60s to near 70° feels so… chilly! Finally, the weather is taking a more assured turn for the cooler.
Let’s recap the past few days in our weather world. We finally broke our dry streak with parts of the state near the Red River seeing up to half a foot of rainfall. (See first map). The Western Hemisphere’s strongest measured hurricane made landfall along the lightly populated coast of western Mexico. Its remnant energy and moisture brought more flooding rains to Texas, missing most of us just to our south. Cooler air has seeped into western and northern Oklahoma where our first recorded freezes of the season occurred Sunday morning. (See second map). Frost Advisories are up again for north-central to northwestern Oklahoma again tonight.
We can’t rule out a patch or two of frost in the area tonight, but most of us won’t see freezing temperatures for a while as Arctic air remains locked up to the north. This incredible rain-maker to our south will actually bring back more moisture in the coming days, allowing for milder nights and even a few showers, mainly east of Tulsa Monday into Tuesday. A weak cold front arrives Tuesday night, but the bulk of the cold air once again stays well to our north.
It appears that October will end not on a particularly warm or cool note, but potentially on a wet one. This zonal (west to east) flow in the jet stream will send a strong piece of upper-level energy our way by the weekend, bringing a few potential rounds of rain to Green Country as early as Friday. Given the southward displacement of this system we’ll be north of the warmer air associated with this system, but it won’t be able to draw down any Arctic air either. The main impact will be on holiday plans. It doesn’t look like trick-or-treating this weekend will be a wash-out, but rain gear may be needed if you’ll be out and about.
Beyond the Halloween storm system, it doesn’t appear any major cold air intrusions are coming our way. Relatively mild weather may follow us at least into the first week in November. Our average first freeze date in Tulsa is November 2nd. If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on a later-than-normal first freeze for the city. The 8 to 14 day outlook shows that warmer than normal pattern likely for much of the U.S. By that point, a normal high is in the upper 60s for Tulsa, so above-normal doesn’t necessarily mean “warm” at this point. For those fan of crisp, cool fall weather, these next two weeks will be ones to soak up.