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Cold Tonight, Warmer for the Weekend.

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After another chilly day today, look for a warming trend to commence this weekend and extend into early next week before another cold front arrives to knock temperatures back down.  In other words, the roller coaster ride in temperatures will continue, although not to the extreme of this past week.  Notice this graph of temperatures over the last 7 days which has 70s just a few days ago but only 41 yesterday and so far today has only made it to 42 after a morning low of 28.  The normal diurnal temperature range at this time of year is 50/29 for reference.

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Temperatures this evening will be holding in the 30s along with a light NE breeze.  By morning, the winds will have shifted to a more SE direction which should keep temperatures from bottoming out completely and mid-upper 20s are expected.  Another factor for the overnight hours is how quickly a lower level cloud deck returns.  If those clouds are a little later in arriving, we may be several degrees colder to start the day.  At any rate, mostly cloudy skies are expected to be the general rule through the day Saturday but we will also have a gusty southerly wind of 15-25 mph or more.   The clouds are expected to be thick enough to counteract the warm air advection of those southerly winds so will hold maximum temperatures to around the 50 degree mark.  The strength of those winds will also result in an enhanced fire danger situation.

Gusty southerly winds and overcast skies will keep temperatures from dropping much Saturday night so look for Sunday morning to start off in the 40s.  As the low level moisture returns, Sunday may also have a misty, drizzly start.  As the day wears on, we should see at least a few breaks in the clouds along with continued southerly winds.  Again, the cloud cover will play a big role in how warm we will be and the current forecast of low-mid 60s is dependent on having at least some afternoon sunshine.   There will also be a chance of light rain or showers for the far eastern counties late in the day and through the overnight hours.

That may also result in a drizzly start to the day on Monday and once again cloud cover will be a big factor in how warm to go that afternoon.  The morning will start off very warm as the clouds and southerly winds will keep us from cooling much and with at least some afternoon sunshine expected, our daytime highs should reach into the 70s.  By the way, the record high for Monday is 73, so if this forecast verifies, we may well set a record that day. 

That evening into the overnight hours will also have a chance of showers and possibly some storms as there will be some decent instability available.  However, the deeper moisture and better dynamics appear to be shunted further east so will only carry a slight chance and primarily over the more eastern counties at that.  Notice the 3 day QPF continues to show the heavier rainfall totals well east of OK so any showers or thunder that may occur will be spotty and will not help our developing drought situation.

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Tuesday could be interesting in that the temperature profile is very uncertain at this time.  A cold front will be pushing across the state that morning with SW winds ahead of the boundary and a NW wind behind it.  Those winds will have pushed any available moisture well east of us so this is expected to be a dry frontal passage, but we will also start off with very mild temperatures.  As you can see on our forecast page, am holding temperatures that morning to around 50, but it may turn out to be much warmer.  Also, the shift to NW winds will eventually bring cooler air, but the timing of the arrival of the colder air is difficult to pin down at this time frame.

For now, am expecting temperatures to moderate at least somewhat during the day before the colder air arrives later in the afternoon or evening, so there is the potential for a large swing in those forecast values.  In fact, cannot rule out an inverted temperature profile with a warmer morning followed by a cooler afternoon. 

After that, Wednesday and Thursday will be much cooler although actually just back to near normal values for the time of year.  Southerly winds returning for Friday should initiate another warming trend going into that following weekend.

Currently, it appears that another weak front will arrive on Sunday followed by a brief cool-down, but as you can see on the 8-14 day guidance, temperatures on average look to remain well above normal.  Also, there is little or no mention of rain for that time frame and we do need the moisture.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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