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Thursday Looking Interesting

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Could get interesting later in the day Thursday as showers/storms become more likely and some potentially severe.  Notice the storm zone has been shifted further to the NW and now includes most of NE OK.  The primary threat still looks to be large hail and potentially damaging winds.  However, this is May so cannot rule out the possibility of a few isolated tornadoes and therefore advise being very weather aware for Thursday, particularly for the late afternoon into the early night time hours.

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This next map shows the projected position of the primary storm center by Thursday evening.  As you can see, it is projected to be moving into North Central OK by then and will be spreading another round of showers and storms ahead of it.  Again, this map is showing the wind pattern aloft at the 500 mb level or about 18,000' above sea level and the colors are the location of the strongest winds at that level.  Notice that it is suggesting very strong winds aloft over much of the state so this is a very dynamic system.  But, the winds at the surface and in the lower levels do not appear to be as organized and the cloudy skies and widespread showers/storms ahead of the system should limit the instability.  That is why the primary threat looks to be hail or damaging winds although a few tornadoes remain possible.  Fortunately, the system is expected to be weakening as it moves overhead tomorrow night and becomes absorbed into the mean upper level trough further to the east.  

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The storms that have developed during the day today are due to some lead disturbances out ahead of the main storm center and we will keep at least a chance of showers and storms through the night tonight and into the morning hours of Thursday. This activity may also produce some small hail but the severe threat is very low until later in the day tomorrow.  Also, since the storm system is expected to be steadily moving along, then rainfall totals should not be excessive.  Notice the QPF estimate through Friday suggests the potential for an inch or more as an areal average which means some locations will receive more, others much less.

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As the main storm center moves on by tomorrow night, it will also bring a surface cold front across the state and much cooler conditions for Friday.  For tonight, the main cooling will be due to rain cooled air as the mostly cloudy skies and southerly winds will keep us from cooling much.  At any rate, morning temperatures should be in the mid-upper 60s followed by daytime highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s.  Again, the mostly cloudy skies, southerly winds, and scattered showers/storms will keep temperatures at least somewhat in check.

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That will be followed by brisk northerly winds and much cooler temperatures for Friday into the day Saturday.  Cloudy skies Friday morning should be gradually clearing from W-E by later in the day and lots of sunshine is expected for the weekend.  Temperatures will be in the 50s Friday morning and only in the lower 70s that afternoon.  The clear skies by Saturday morning together with light winds will result in a cool start to the day with 40s to near 50 expected followed by a return to southerly winds and a nice rebound as you can see on our forecast page.

The southerly winds and warming trend will continue through at least the middle of next week. We will also have a more stable weather pattern through the first part of the week as our next chance of showers/storms is not expected until the middle of next week.  However, that unsettled pattern may well persist well beyond the middle of the week as the 8-14 day outlook suggests warmer than normal conditions and also an enhanced chance of showers/storms.

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So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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