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Colder, Chance of Snow.

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Cold, dry air is well entrenched today and will be re-enforced over the next 24 hours as another surge of cold air moves over the state on Thursday.  To illustrate how dry the air is, notice the dew point temperatures across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.  By the way, this very dry air also leads to static electricity issues in homes and automobiles as that very dry air is warmed by your heating systems.

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Dew points in the single digits are uncommon in this area and can be a first guess regarding the minimum temperature at night.  But, cloud cover will keep us from bottoming out at night as the upper level winds will bring several disturbances over the state keeping us with cloudy to mostly cloudy skies through Friday.  The clouds together with gusty northerly winds will also keep us from warming much during the day.  In fact, Tulsa barely made it above freezing today despite abundant sunshine as the max/min has been 35/19 as compared to the normal values of 47/28.  Here are the max/min values for the rest of the state today and as you can see, a number of locations did not make it above the freezing mark.

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Look for temperatures tonight to again be in the teens to near 20, but a brisk northerly wind by morning will push wind chill values into the single digits for much of the morning hours.  Little or no sunshine will keep afternoon temperatures in the 20s and those brisk northerly winds will also keep wind chill values in the teens through the afternoon.  Along with the clouds comes the possibility of snow, primarily for the far northern counties and into KS later in the day where a dusting to perhaps an inch will be possible.

A stronger system aloft will be passing overhead for Thursday night into the day Friday keeping us cloudy and cold and also trying to wring out some snow.  This time, the better forcing and moisture availability will be located further south, basically along and south of the I-40 corridor where some accumulating snows will be possible; perhaps up to an inch or more for some locations.  Further north, a skiff of snow looks to be the most likely outcome. 

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Remember, those very low dew points are indicative of how dry the air is and that very dry air will make it difficult for the snow falling from the cloud layer to make it to the ground.  However, locations further south will have more moisture available through a deeper layer of the atmosphere making it more likely for the snow to reach the ground and accumulate.  At the same time, the system aloft responsible for this is not very strong and will be weakening as it accelerates eastward with the upper level jet stream and that will keep accumulations on the light side.

After that, as you can see on our forecast page, sunshine will return for Saturday but the fair skies and light winds will result in the coldest morning of this forecast cycle and we will still struggle to get above freezing that afternoon.  Southerly winds will warm us up considerably going into next week but those winds and the warmer conditions will also produce fire danger concerns.  Still not much in the way of moisture coming our way anytime soon.

And, as you can see on the 8-14 day outlook, above normal temperatures should be the general rule through the rest of next week, and that following weekend, on average.   That time frame may see a more unsettled pattern as well, but there continues to be considerable uncertainty regarding any major weather makers over the next few weeks.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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