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Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Near Record Temperatures, High Fire Danger

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Another windy day for the Sooner State; and along with that came the associated fire danger concerns. Notice the maximum winds as recorded at the OK Mesonet for today and, even though those winds were blowing from the NW, they did not cool things off much. That is apparent from the max/min temperature map, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Once again, temperatures were well above the seasonal norm for this time of year which, by the way, is 53/32 for Tulsa.

Fortunately, the winds are settling down with the setting sun and a much lighter S wind is expected to start the day on Wednesday. The light winds and only some high-level clouds together with low dew points will allow for a colder start to the day and morning lows will be in the low-mid 30s; colder, certainly, but still above normal.

As the day wears on, lots of sunshine, once again, together with southerly winds increasing to 10-20 mph by the noon hour will push afternoon high temperatures to near 70 and result in another high fire danger situation.

Thursday still looks to be the worst with respect to fire danger concerns. Gusty south winds will continue through the overnight hours into that morning, keeping temperatures quite warm, and we will likely start off in the upper 40s. Those south winds will be gusting above 30 mph again by the noon hour and for much of the day, together with lots of sunshine and daytime highs at record levels.

As you can see on our forecast page, daytime temperatures should be near 80 for many locations. Not a good recipe for fire danger; and the only saving grace is that the dew point temperature will also be rising during the day, keeping the relative humidity from totally bottoming out. Even so, extreme caution is advised with outdoor activities.

Lighter winds due to a weak frontal boundary making a run at us on Friday will lessen the fire danger, somewhat, but temperatures will still be way above normal. In fact, the morning low will be warmer than our normal daytime high for this time of year, to put things into perspective.

A stronger cool front is still on track to arrive during the day Sunday, but temperatures will still be way above normal. There will be more cloud cover and, perhaps, even some showers or thunder on Sunday; but, as you can see on the 7-day QPF map, we are on the fringe of the heavier rains which are expected further SE.

NE winds will bring cooler air over us for early next week, but only back to near seasonal levels.

Looking further down the road, the 8-14-day outlooks continue to suggest temperatures averaging above normal, along with a rather inactive weather pattern. That is not to say we have no chance of rain, just that nothing organized nor very heavy is expected during that time frame.

By the way, there are some longer term climate drivers that suggest we are not through with winter just yet, even though this early taste of spring may lead some to think so.

Dick Faurot

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