April Showers Coming Early
From smoke in the air to rain and lightning, we’ve seen a big transition in our weather this weekend. It’s the start of an unsettled pattern that may last well beyond Easter Sunday. Not only are a few severe thunderstorms in the mix, but so are the risks for flooding and even a few snowflakes. As has been the case the last couple of years, March will be going out like a lion.
The first of many rounds of rain has pushed through northeast Oklahoma on our Sunday afternoon. After a small lull Sunday evening, more thunderstorms likely break out early on Monday morning as a warm front lifts north into Green Country. These could produce some hail so don’t be surprised for an early morning alarm clock! Rain may once again diminish during the day before the next and heaviest wave of rain and storms begin.
Above is the overall timeline of the rain and storms affecting Tulsa through Thursday. Clearly the most active period will be Monday night into Tuesday morning. A band of heavy storms likely forms somewhere near I-44 and stalls out long enough to create a flooding risk. In addition, a few storms could be strong or severe. This band of heavy storms will slowly shift south on Tuesday with the cold front. Showers will linger behind the front, giving us a damp, raw kind of day Tuesday with falling temperatures.
The flooding rains will end Tuesday but showers could return Wednesday into Thursday. This kicker system will bring nothing too heavy as it appears, but could reinforce the already chilly air in place. Several reliable computer models even bring accumulating snowfall just north of the state line. It wouldn’t be out of the possibility to have a few flurries flying as the system leaves on Thursday for a few locations north of Tulsa.
Above are rain totals that we may see between now and Thursday. Some places may see over 4” of rainfall. Flooding is the biggest concern of the coming days, primed by rainfall now and likely beginning Monday night. The secondary threat will be some storms with hail and a few instances of damaging winds Monday.
Beyond this prolonged wet spell, we’ll end up with a day or two to dry out at the end of the week. Going into Easter weekend, another cold front will arrive bringing another chance of rain or storms. It’s certainly not locked in that we’ll have a soggy Easter, but the timing of the front appears to indicate a chilly holiday at the least. In fact, as we head into April, a cool air mass will likely settle into the central U.S., giving us higher likelihood of a frost or freeze that first week of the new month. Beware of planting yet, eager gardeners! Below, is that outlook through April’s first week.