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Interesting for Friday.

Posted: Updated:
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Could get interesting for later tonight, through the day Friday and Friday night as we expect several rounds of showers and storms with the potential for flooding rainfall and also the possibility for some storms to be severe.  Quite frankly, the flood threat still appears to be the primary issue for most of the viewing area and a flood watch remains in effect for tonight through Friday night..

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As is usually the case, there will be some locations that will receive much more rain than other, nearby locations, but as you can see on the 2 day QPF map, NE OK remains in the bulls eye for locally heavy rains.  Keep in mind, this is an areal average and does not necessarily mean that everyone will receive that much rainfall, but even so this looks to be a very wet system.

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The cool front that moved through most of the area today has made it south of I-40 as of late this afternoon.  It is expected to stall out there for tonight and provide a focus for showers and storms to form for the overnight hours.  Those storms would then move NE bringing the heavy rains and the potential for some gusty winds and hail which would be the primary severe threat for tonight.  However, during the day Friday there continue to be some indications that the frontal boundary will make a move northward and that creates huge issues regarding the severe threat for Friday.  Locations south of the front will potentially make it well into the 70s whereas locations north of the boundary will hold in the 50s and 60s through the day.  That means the position of the frontal boundary will separate the warmer, more unstable air south of the boundary from the cooler, more stable air north of the boundary.  The warmer, more unstable air would have a greater likelihood for storms to become rooted in the near surface layer and therefore at least a possibility of one or two tornadoes.  The storms that move over the cooler, more stable surface layer north of the boundary would still have the potential to produce locally damaging winds and hail, but the tornado threat would be minimized.  

Given the uncertainties regarding the position of the frontal boundary, the severe threat has been increased and moved somewhat northward for Friday.

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As mentioned, there will be huge differences in temperatures for tonight and tomorrow with 50s and 60s for most of the day north of the boundary and well into the 70s south of the boundary.  However, the storm system aloft will finally eject on eastward Friday night pushing the surface front on through the state by Saturday morning.  Some lingering wrap around showers for the early morning hours will quickly move on eastward, but our skies will be slow to clear.  In fact, we should be overcast all day Saturday and brisk northerly winds all day long will make for a very cool day.  Morning lows in the 40s will struggle to make it into the mid 50s for the afternoon hours and those northerly winds will make it feel even cooler.

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As you can see on our forecast page, our skies will have cleared by Sunday morning and the day will get off to a very chilly start with morning lows near 40.  Light northerly winds all day will offset the sunshine to a certain extent, but we should still make it to near 70 that afternoon.  That will be followed by a return to southerly winds and warmer conditions for early next week as temperatures surge back above normal.  Then, things will start to get interesting once again.  Another weak boundary will make a run at the state along about Wednesday and may set off a few showers and storms.  But, the longer range guidance is suggesting another much stronger system coming our way along about the Fri/Sat time frame of next week.  In fact, a cursory examination of  the satellite imagery across the Pacific shows what may well be a series of storm systems coming our way every few days.  That seems to be what the 8-14 day guidance is suggesting as it is keeping us with a wet signal through that time frame along with temperatures that should start trending closer to normal if not cooler than normal.

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In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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