The first storm system of 2018 is moving into Green Country this weekend, set to bring us some much-needed moisture.  Fortunately, temperatures have warmed significantly from the near 0°readings of New Years so we are not looking at a wintry weather threat this go-around. However, there is another Arctic blast just around the corner.

                For the first time in quite a while, we have a storm system originating over the Pacific rather than the Arctic. That means we won’t see a temperature plunge with little moisture. Instead, we have ample moisture lifting northward into Oklahoma to meet this fast-moving wave. Drizzle and light showers may greet us as early as dawn on Sunday, but widespread and steady rainfall doesn’t break out until later Sunday morning. From midday into the afternoon, Green Country is bullseye for a good soaking. A shield of rain will form ahead of a (not-so) cold front and shift across the area from northwest to southeast. At times, the rain may be somewhat heavy, but no thunder or flash flooding is anticipated. It’s just the kind of rain we need. Most spots should see around half an inch with a few lucky wet ducks closer to 1” totals as shown below.

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                The rain will gradually end Sunday evening with southeast Oklahoma seeing the soggy weather until early Monday morning. It appears the clouds should break on Monday allowing for temperatures to rebound as if a cold front hadn’t passed. The warming trend really kicks into gear Tuesday as south winds return ahead of another storm system. This will bring highs into the 50s and possibly 60s midweek. Wednesday is likely the day temperatures crest before an Arctic cold front comes barreling into the state. This storm system won’t likely be oriented to bring us much rain, but some post-frontal precipitation on Thursday is worth some attention given the rapidly plunging temperatures. We’ll have a few days to watch that system evolve before we rule out any wintry weather with it. The midweek set-up below shows the Arctic air poised to make a southward rush behind the low pressure.

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                The end of the week will resemble the start of the year with bitter cold temperatures, wind chill values down to around 0° at times and high temperatures barely topping the freezing mark. Although it’ll be very cold heading into next weekend, it won’t likely stick around too long. The jet stream pattern is a lot less entrenched as it was before, therefore, we’ll see this cold air progressing east of the area much quicker. In fact, another mid-winter warm spell may be in the offing in a little over a week as shown below in the Climate Prediction Center’s Outlook.

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                So far, significant wintry weather is not showing up. January is more typically known for a “dry” cold anyway. Those bigger, wetter storm systems don’t often show up until February. The good news is, we are passing the coldest climatological point in the year and the average temperatures are about to start rising again. Spring isn’t all that close, but perhaps some of the worst of winter is already behind us. Stay warm and enjoy the rain!  For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.