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Warm & Windy Wednesday, Cooler & Wet After That.

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Warm and rather breezy conditions today will be followed by another warm, windy day for Wednesday; in fact look for the winds to be stronger and temperatures to be even warmer.  As of late this afternoon, most locations have made it into the lower 80s after starting the day in the 50s.  So far, the max;min for Tulsa has been 82/53 and you can go here to see how those numbers compare to the normal and extreme values for this time of year.

As we go through the night tonight, we will have fair skies but our southerly winds are not expected to go calm which should reduce the potential for the widespread, dense fog that occurred this morning.  Also, with dew point temperatures holding in the lower 60s our morning lows should bottom out in the low-mid 60s.  As the day wears on, those southerly winds will become gusty at 15-25 mph or more and with plenty of sunshine look for afternoon highs to reach the low to possibly the mid 80s for the more urban environment.  

After Wednesday, a much more active pattern will return starting with a cool front that will be pushing across the state during the day Thursday.  Southerly winds ahead of the boundary should keep us in the 60s to start the day Thursday and since the front will be rather slow to move southward it will not likely reach the more southern counties till Thursday night where it is expected to stall out.  There will be quite a temperature contrast with the more northern counties likely holding in the 60s through the day due to N/NE winds and cloudy skies while the more southern counties should make it well into the 70s before the front arrives.  There will also be a good chance of showers and storms associated with the front, some may be marginally severe with a wind/hail threat.

Friday looks to be the more interesting day and the position of the stalled frontal boundary will be a major player as some of the model solutions bring it back north as a warm front to near or even north of the hwy 412 area during the day.  Although that is certainly a possibility, it appears that the abundant rainfall and rain cooled air produced along and north of the boundary should keep it from making much northward progress so am inclined to keep the warmer sector much further south.  Obviously, the position of the boundary will be a major player in temperatures during the day with locations north of the boundary holding in the 60s or even some 50s and locations south of the boundary in the 70s to near 80.  That will also be a factor in any severe potential although showers and storms will be widespread no matter the location.

Notice the 5 day QPF which has come in even wetter over the last 24 hours so there will also be the potential for some flooding to occur.

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Another complicating factor is the fact that the storm system of interest is currently well out in the Pacific as you can see from the upper level wind map as of mid day today.  This is of the 500 mb level or approximately 18,000' above sea level and the colors represent the strongest winds at that level, i.e. the jet stream location.

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This next map is the projected position of the storm system by Friday night and the data runs of recent days have been pretty consistent in the location and strength of this system.  However, keep in mind that it is currently well out in the Pacific and therefore has not been directly sampled by our land based observational network, so there may be some significant changes in the forecast over the next few days.  Even so, all indications to this point certainly suggest it has the potential to bring some very heavy rainfall and possibly some severe weather as well.

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Given the slow, but steady progression of this storm system, we should be on the backside for this weekend with brisk northerly winds and much cooler conditions as you can see on the forecast page.  Lingering showers and some thunder for the Saturday morning time frame will be moving on eastward, but the clouds look to hang around till late in the day or that night.  Together with the brisk northerly winds, that means temperatures holding in the 50s for most of the day and if we get  some cloud breaks during the afternoon, then we may make it into the lower 60s.  Certainly much cooler than recent days. After a cool start Sunday morning, sunny skies through the day should initiate a warming trend and with a return to southerly winds, early next week should be much warmer.

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After the warm up early next week, the 8-14 day outlook is now suggesting we could be trending somewhat cooler once again for later next week and it continues to suggest the potential for above normal rainfall.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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