Winds Increase Fire Danger Across Eastern Oklahoma
TULSA, Oklahoma - Cold weather is underway this morning across eastern Oklahoma with most locations in the lower 20s. Some of the typical colder-valley spots will support lows in the upper teens. Winds will be mostly light through pre-dawn but some wind chill values will remain for the next few hours. Later today, the winds are expected to increase across the area as our next upper level system draws closer to the central plains allowing surface pressures to drop to our west. The result will be temperatures climbing back into the 50s this afternoon along with gusty south winds and increasing fire danger issues. Southwest surface winds are likely Wednesday from 15 to 30 mph and should allow even warmer air to arrive from the Mexican plateau into Texas. Some of this will reach southwestern Oklahoma with highs in the lower 70s. The main impact for our immediate area will be a return to mid or upper 60s near the metro with some lower 60s across far northeast Oklahoma and southeast Kansas. The trajectory of the surface winds should keep mostly dry air in place across our area with another day of increasing fire spread across Oklahoma.
The first of two fronts will move across the area beginning late Wednesday night into Thursday morning. with a minor chance of some light precipitation across far eastern Oklahoma or western Arkansas, mostly in the form of light drizzle directly behind the front across far southeastern or east central Oklahoma. This system will have little impact with precip for most of northeast Oklahoma with north winds and temps back into the upper 40s for highs across northern Oklahoma. The colder air will be following late Thursday night and will bring us back to near normal Friday with lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s.
The scenario(s) with the 2nd system has not changed much over the last 24 hours, yet confidence is increasing in much colder air arriving Sunday into Monday.
The second system arrives late in the weekend as a strong upper level system centered across the Hudson Bay area shoves a medium length wave across the Midwestern U.S. and unleashes more cold air into the nation. Changes to the weekend forecast are still possible. We may need a low mention for Saturday precip and a higher mention for Sunday in the form of light snow. But since the data has such a large spread and is very inconsistent, we’ll not make any major changes to the weekend set of numbers with this morning update.
Thanks for reading the Tuesday morning weather discussion and blog.