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Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Roller Coaster Ride Returns For Temperatures

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After a cold start this morning, temperatures really soared this afternoon as many locations saw a diurnal range of 40 degrees or more. Notice the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. For Tulsa, the official range was a low of 25 this morning and a high of 68 this afternoon. Keep in mind, the normal daytime high at this time of year is the lower 50s. That is also quite a change from yesterday, as you can see on the 24-hour temperature change map as of early this evening, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet.

And, as a reminder that we can certainly be a lot colder at this time of year, the third map shows the minimum temperatures just 5 years ago. Yep, those are negative numbers, and the -31 at Nowata still stands as the all-time coldest temperature ever recorded in the state of Oklahoma.

The spring-like temperatures we enjoyed this afternoon will be knocked back to more seasonal values for Thursday, as a weak front moves through the state, returning our winds to the NE at 10-15 mph. But, we will still have lots of sunshine to offset those winds and are expecting daytime highs to still be in the 50s.

Friday should make it to near 60 before another, stronger, cold front arrives late in the day to knock temperatures back even further. In fact, as you can see on our forecast page, we will be back on the roller coaster with respect to temperatures, as daytime highs in the 40s are now expected for Sat/Sun followed by another big-time warm-up for early next week.

Gusty northerly winds for Saturday will return to the SE later Sunday and then gusty southerly winds are expected by the middle of next week. That will bring much warmer air back over the state, but the winds - together with generally dry conditions and dormant vegetation - will also lead to fire danger concerns.

In fact, given the lush vegetation after last year’s wet conditions, anytime the wind blows and the sun shines, we can expect to have fire danger concerns until things green up or we get a good rain.

Unfortunately, there is not much in the way of rain anytime soon. We are still carrying a chance of showers on Sunday into the overnight hours, but what does fall is expected to be on the light side, if we get anything at all.

As has been the case lately, the storm systems that have moved through the state have been largely moisture starved and not producing much in the way of precipitation till they get well east of us. Also, the brunt of the colder air continues to be pointed off to our east.

In fact, after the cool-down over the weekend and the warm-up that follows, there continues to be very little indication of any more cold air coming our way anytime soon. Notice the 8-14-day outlook is keeping a very strong signal of above normal temperatures not only for OK but for pretty much the entire country.

Notice there is also a relatively weak signal for at least the possibility for more in the way of precipitation, but that is not overly impressive just yet. Quite frankly, we are starting to get rather dry and will need moisture soon.

So, enjoy this stable pattern over the next week or two as eventually the storm track and the position of the jet stream will bring more active weather our way. We just do not see that anytime soon.

Dick Faurot

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