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Pleasant Thursday Expected Across Green Country

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The battle between winter and spring is underway.  We’re starting this morning in the 20s and will end in the upper 50s north and lower 60s south this afternoon with even warmer air Friday before a Saturday storm system possibly brings a few thunderstorms and another cool-down Sunday into early next week.   A few strong to severe storms may be possible Saturday with the higher chances confined to southeastern or east-central Oklahoma into western Arkansas.  Today has the potential to be a 5-star weather day but a few high clouds may lower that rating slightly!  The confidence regarding the Saturday system remains low to moderate at this hour.

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The upper air flow remains from the northwest this morning and will continue for the next few days.  A mid-level ridge is parked across the western U.S. with a developing trough across the western coastal areas of Alaska this morning.   This trough will move atop the western ridge and down the northwest into the central plains Saturday into Sunday.  As this process begins, pressure falls will occur across the Lee of the Rockies Thursday night into Friday with south winds developing across Oklahoma.  The trajectory of the Friday winds may be more from the southwest for most of the day, but late Friday night winds will begin backing from the southeast as the low deepens and moves closer to the state.  This process will bring warm and moist air quickly into the eastern third of the area with a few scattered showers and storms attempting to develop.  A few of the early Saturday storms could produce some marginally severe hail, but the chance will remain low.   By the afternoon the surface low, at this point somewhere generally to our west, will have a warm front established across part of eastern Oklahoma by the afternoon.  The positioning is yet to be known with any confidence at this hour but will play important roles in the possibility of strong to severe storms and the overall chance of precip Saturday afternoon and evening.  As of this posting, the more favorable position of the true warm sector may remain across far southeastern Oklahoma and southwestern Arkansas.   Scattered storms will be possible during the afternoon and evening that may be severe in these areas, and near the warm frontal position.  As the above mentioned upper level trough gets closer by Sunday morning, the surface low will eject quickly to the east bringing strong north winds back to our area in the range of 20 to 30 mph.  Colder air will follow Sunday with lows in the 30s and highs in the upper 40s and lower 50s with a mixture of clouds and sun.  This chilly air mass will stick around for a few days next week before the pattern changes bringing a southern stream system near the state by next weekend. 

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Now to the great unknown.  The data this morning has shifted the surface low on a more southern route.  The GFS takes it across the north TX area Saturday afternoon and evening, with the NAM hinting at a more southern route as well.  The EURO also appears to be heading southbound.   If the signals from the NAM continue to be reinforced in the upcoming days with other data, our chances for showers and storms Saturday may be coming down.  I have lowered our pops from 60 to 50% for this possible scenario. 

In summary, cold weather is again underway this morning with lows in the 20s along with clear sky and light north winds.   Highs today will move into the upper 50s north and lower 60s south with sunshine and high clouds and south winds near 10 mph by the afternoon.    

Thanks for reading the Thursday morning weather discussion and blog.

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