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Warmer and Dry Next Few Days; Major Storm Early Next Week.

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Will be the first to admit that the rainfall today was more widespread and more persistent than appeared to be the case 24 hours ago.  The rainfall totals were generally on the light side but were widespread with the exception of the far northern and NW counties. 

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These showers occurred on the northern fringe of a relatively weak system moving across the state and which is labeled on the map showing the circulation features at around 18,000’ or what is referred to as the 500 mb level.  That level represents the approximate midpoint of the atmosphere with about half of the mass above that level and half below it.

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At any rate, that level is useful for monitoring both weak and strong storm centers as they move along in the upper level flow.  Notice I have also indicated the current position of the next big storm that is headed this way and which was mentioned yesterday and which we have been monitoring for quite some time now.  Its current position is still well offshore in the N Pacific Ocean where we have no observational network except for satellite imagery.  That means there is still more than the usual uncertainty regarding its ultimate impact on our weather; but, all the data runs of recent days including those today have been consistently showing it to be a major factor in our weather.  The next map shows its progged position by Sunday evening where it is expected to set up shop in the general neighborhood of the 4 Corners area of the Southern Rockies. 

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It is expected to spin around there and gradually drift E or NE and eventually weaken going into next week.  But, that process will keep much of OK under the gun for rounds of showers and storms with the potential for locally heavy rainfall and perhaps even some severe weather.  Notice the 7 day QPF map which has also consistently targeted the Southern Plains for locally heavy rains.  Have repeatedly said that our western counties are desperate for moisture; just hope they do not go from drought to flood with this system.

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As mentioned yesterday, the devil will be in the details as this storm system finally gets into our surface observational network in the days ahead and we get a better handle on the timing and intensity and therefore its impacts on the state.  The trends so far have been to slow it down and as you can see on our forecast page, we have lowered the rain chances for much of Sunday and are now targeting later Sunday into early next week with showers/storms.

Between now and then, the current system as it moves on eastward will take the rains with it and will leave us with partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies and mild temperatures.  At least the winds will be light with E to SE winds generally less than 10 mph on Thursday and SE winds around 10-15 on Friday.  Stronger SE winds on Sat/Sun will keep our nights much warmer than normal and our days will also be warmer than normal. 

The unsettled pattern may last through the rest of next week as well as the 6-10 day outlook maintains a wet signal over the state along with temperatures running near to above normal for that time frame.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.  It could get interesting later this weekend into next week.

Dick Faurot

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