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Wintry Blast Comes Monday

Wintry Blast Comes Monday

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So far, 2018 is running about 5° below normal and that number is about to drop even further. We briefly thawed out Sunday afternoon as temperatures rose well into the 40s. That will seem balmy compared to where our readings go in the coming days. An Arctic cold front is barreling toward the state and it may be bringing more than just cold air.

                This morning, people along the Oklahoma-Kansas line awoke to some snow flying outside their windows. While it didn’t amount to much, that same area is under the gun for another bout of snow by Monday morning. Behind the incoming front, a band of light to moderate snow is expected to make headway into southeast Kansas and at least northern sections of northeast Oklahoma before dissipating. The actual front should arrive pre-dawn with the gusty north winds, falling temperatures and precipitation following a few hours later. A sweet spot of enough moisture coupled with upper-level forcing sets up in areas north of Tulsa before those two ingredients separate by afternoon. That band of snow may be very slow to move south, leaving the metro area at the very fringe of anything significant. Should that shift just a bit further south, the Tulsa area could see accumulation. The official forecast calls for a streak of 1” to 2” near the state line and a dusting possible down to near Tulsa. Between Tulsa and I-40, flurries at best are expected as the map below shows.

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                Any snow that falls could cause slick stretches on roadways. Any heavier bands of snow could have limited visibility due to strong north winds. While many of us won’t see any significant snowfall, the cold will affect us all. For anyone attending MLK Day events outdoors, wear many layers and expect wind chill values in the lower teens by midday. While school closures on Tuesday seem unlikely due to Monday morning snowfall, I wouldn’t be surprised if some close simply due to the bitter cold as temperatures plummet into the single digits Monday night. Wind chill values may dip to -10° or below, on par with the frigid spell o New Years. The two images below tell the rest of the story for this wintry blast.

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                We’ll finally escape the worst of winter’s grip by Thursday. The deep trough in the jet stream responsible for the Arctic express will quickly shift east, allowing warm air to flood northward. By Friday, we’ll see our morning lows only around the freezing mark and highs in the 50s. We could even hit 60° before the week is over! In mid-winter, these warm spells are fleeting. Another storm system arriving next weekend may send those temperatures tumbling again, but it will hopefully bring much-needed moisture to Green Country in the form of liquid. Below is the late-week set-up as Arctic air finally recedes from the area.

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                For more on the wintry weather, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.

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