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Warm, Then Cooler, Then Warmer Again, Then Colder.

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With the exception of the N Central counties of OK, the cloud cover and patchy early morning fog burned off rapidly today which together with a brisk southerly wind really warmed things up.  Notice the maximum temperatures across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet and you can see clearly the impact the clouds had for those N Central counties.  By the way, the max/min for Tulsa has been 70/49 as compared to the normal values of 48/27.  In other words, much above normal but not a record as the record for this date is 77 set back in 1986.

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Southerly winds will continue through the overnight hours, but will be diminishing and since our dew points are running in the 30s and only a few high level clouds are expected, temperatures will be a bit cooler to start the day with most of us in the low-mid 40s.  Brisk southerly winds will continue through the day Saturday, but clouds will also be on the increase as our next storm system moves this way.  The increasing cloud cover should keep temperatures somewhat in check with mid-upper 60s expected for the afternoon hours.

Notice the position of the upper level storm system by Sunday morning.  As mentioned before, at this time of year this is a typical location for us to have a major snow event and it is a rather compact and vigorous system.  But, it has no cold air to work with so therefore it will just bring showers and possible thunder for many locations starting Saturday evening/night and extending into the day Sunday.  Some lingering showers may last into the mid-day period on Sunday for the more eastern counties as the system moves on eastward.  That jet streak rotating around the base of the system aloft may also result in severe weather for the SE part of the U.S. over the next few days.

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Here in OK some locations may pick up a locally heavy shower as the 3 day QPF suggests the possibility of an inch or so from any storms that can get going.  But, most locations will likely receive much less and as before, much heavier amounts will occur further east as the storm system taps into a deeper and richer moisture source from the Gulf of Mexico.

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This system will also push a cool front through the state by early Sunday morning with brisk NW winds throughout the day.  But, as mentioned above, there is no cold air anywhere nearby so although we will certainly be cooler on Sunday, temperatures will still be well above normal with morning lows in the 40s and daytime highs well into the 50s.

Monday will start off near the freezing mark but a quick return to southerly winds during the day and lots of sunshine will push daytime highs well into the 50s to near 60 once again.  As you can see on our forecast page, Tuesday will be warmer yet with gusty SW winds, lots of sunshine and afternoon temperatures likely reaching the 70s.  That combination together with the dormant vegetation and low humidity levels will result in an enhanced fire danger situation.

Then, it is back to the real world as a stronger cold front will push across the state Tuesday night bringing temperatures back to more seasonal levels.  In fact, temperatures for the rest of the week and through the following weekend look to be at or below normal to close out the month of January.  Despite the much stronger system moving through the state Tuesday night, it will be dry and in fact it looks like a very quiet weather pattern through the end of the month.

Notice the 6-10 day outlook is trending for temperatures to be at or below normal but with little or no mention of rain.  So, the bottom line is that this weekend and into early next week will continue to have much warmer than normal conditions despite a cool front arriving Saturday night.  But, the month will end on a cool note due to a stronger front moving through Tuesday night with temperatures back to near or below normal conditions.

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As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot 

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