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Thursday Looking Good, Much Cooler and Wet for Friday.

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As mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we have yet to have a day during the month of March that was cooler than normal and that trend has continued through the day today.  Once again, temperatures were well above normal as you can see on the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.  Interestingly, some nearby valley locations were cold enough to have a light freeze this morning, but rebounded nicely this afternoon.  The normal diurnal temperature range at this time of year for Tulsa is 62/40 and the record book for today will show 67/42.  So far, March is averaging more than 9 degrees warmer than normal.

Thursday will also be warmer than normal but after that we will see a significant cool-down; and just in time for Spring, at least according to the calendar.  First things first though and that is our Thursday which after a rather chilly start will see a nice rebound with above normal temperatures again that afternoon.  As you can see on our forecast page, morning lows in the 30s to low 40s are expected tonight, with frost possible for some of the colder valleys.  That will be followed by daytime highs well into the 60s.  Fair to partly overnight skies and partly cloudy to partly sunny skies are then expected during the day along with light E to SE winds.  More clouds and perhaps a brief, very light shower may occur over the far southern counties of the state late in the day or that night.

Friday will be much different with overcast skies, light rain or showers, gusty northerly winds, and much cooler conditions.  Afternoon temperatures will struggle to get much above 50 and gusty northerly winds in excess of 20 mph will make it feel even cooler.   What little rain we do receive will not amount to much as you can see on the 7 day QPF map.  Although this is valid through the 7 day period, for us any moisture will be entirely due to what little we receive on Friday as the rest of this forecast cycle looks to be dry.

That brings us to the weekend which according to the calendar will mark the official start of Spring.  As has been mentioned before, from a climatological perspective Spring is considered to be the calendar months of Mar-May.  But in any event, it will be ironic that the coldest days of the entire month of March will be for the calendar start of Spring.  To be specific, Spring officially begins at 11:30 PM Saturday night which makes Sunday the first full day of Spring. 

Temperatures will be in the low-mid 30s to start the day Saturday under fair skies and with northerly winds.  The more northern counties and protected valleys could have a light freeze to start the day as well, depending on if the winds calm down enough that morning.  Northerly winds will continue all day but abundant sunshine should bring those afternoon temperatures back into the 50s.  Sunday morning will have a greater potential for a frost/freeze as the winds will be light, very cool and dry air will be in place, and right now it appears our skies will be clear.  With that in mind, even the urban environment looks to be near the freezing mark and the outlying locations should all be at or below freezing.

Lots of sunshine during the day along with light northerly winds returning to a southerly direction should result in afternoon temperatures reaching well into the 50s to near 60.  After that, gusty southerly winds will return for early next week along with very warm conditions and an enhanced fire danger once again.  The rest of the forecast cycle should also remain dry.

Looking further down the road, notice the 8-14 day outlook continues to suggest temperature running warmer than normal, on average, for that time frame.  But, there is also a relatively wet signal although the more active pattern for showers or storms may be just east of us.  This will include the Easter weekend time frame so will keep a close watch on trends in the days ahead.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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