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Much Cooler Next Few Days.

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Looked at temperatures for January in yesterday’s blog, thought a brief look back at precipitation would be in order today.  A cursory glance at the total precipitation across the state over the last 30 days, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, suggests a relatively wet month.  Since January is one of the drier months of the year anyway, it does not take much for the month to be wetter than normal.  Quite a range though as the ‘official’ rain gauge out at the Tulsa airport has a total of 3.42” which is 1.76” more than normal, but many locations in the southern counties received less than 2”.

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Given how dry 2016 was, we are entering 2017 with a moisture deficit and really need some widespread, soaking events to keep the fire hazard at bay until things start greening up.  Although we do have a chance of showers in the forecast, the chances remain rather low and what showers do occur will be on the light side.  Notice the 7 day QPF which has just light amounts here in E OK as the deeper moisture availability and therefore the greater precipitation amounts remain well east of us.

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At any rate, the northerly winds of today will continue through the overnight hours tonight bringing in cooler air which will stick around for the next few days.  From the 24 hour temperature change map, you can see that the cooler air has had trouble penetrating the higher elevations of far SE OK so far today, but that will be changing tonight and tomorrow.  Except for high level cirrus clouds, we have still had enough sunshine for temperatures to once again be warmer than normal despite those northerly winds.  The max/min so far today has been 59/36 as compared to the normal values of 50/28. 

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By morning, the cooler air should have spread over the entire state and here in NE OK, look for morning lows in the upper 20s to lower 30s.  Northerly winds of 10-20 mph will certainly make it seem much cooler than that, and those brisk northerly winds will continue through the day Thursday.  Also, the high level cirrus clouds of today will be replaced by lower level cloudiness and very little sunshine.  The timing of the arrival of that low level cloud deck looks to be around the sunrise time frame which means the groundhog may be able to see his shadow before the heavier clouds move in.  At any rate, the combination of mostly cloudy skies and brisk northerly winds will hold our daytime temperatures into the low-mid 40s for Thursday, so much cooler than the last few days.

Friday will be much the same with morning lows in the 20s to low 30s and daytime highs only in the 40s along with mostly cloudy skies and a northerly breeze.  Despite the cloud cover, the only possibility of rain will be perhaps a few sprinkles over the far SE counties for tomorrow morning.

Mostly cloudy skies will also prevail through Saturday but our winds will have returned to a more southerly component so temperatures will be moderating.  As you can see on our forecast page, Sunday into early next week will be much warmer once again despite considerable cloud cover.  That will be due to stronger southerly winds in advance of the next cold front which looks to be arriving later in the day Tuesday.  Ahead of that boundary, we will have at least a slight chance of a few showers for Sunday into Monday, but as mentioned earlier the chances are rather low and the amounts look to be on the light side.

Wednesday will be cooler with northerly winds behind a cold front but it also looks to be dry.  Also, this cool down looks to be rather brief with a return to above normal temperatures as you can see on the 8-14 day guidance.  Little or no mention of rain is also projected for that time frame.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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