We’re now in the final stretch of 2018 and the weather pattern is becoming clear through the end of the year – warm and wet. It’s not just Oklahoma, but much of the United States that is thawing out and then likely to see a conveyer belt of moisture-laden storm systems.  The first in the series arrives Wednesday.

 

It’s a two-part system showing up that will bring us a good chance of light rain. The first part of the system is bringing us cloud cover this Tuesday evening and is funneling up Gulf moisture. The second part arrives Wednesday evening as the trigger for widespread showers and perhaps even a thunderstorm.  It will send a cold front through Green Country with showers tapering off from west to east early Thursday morning. Below is the timeline of our rain chances.

That storm system will get stronger as it pushes east of us, which will result in a strong northwest wind developing Thursday. Even if it does rain a little bit Wednesday, the amounts will be rather light (under a quarter-inch mostly). That will allow for the vegetation to dry out in a hurry when wind gusts between 30 and 40mph show up Thursday. And this time of year, that can quickly enhance our fire danger.

 

The air behind this system is not all that cold. The storm track is keep these systems south of the Arctic, which really limits our ability to see any wintry weather or even seasonably cold air our direction. As we kick off winter this Friday, high temperatures will still be running about 7° above normal… and that is still with a northerly wind!

As we head towards Christmas, a few fast-moving disturbances of little consequence will pass by Oklahoma. All they will bring are additional clouds it appears right now.  That is certainly great news for travelers nearby. That could change following Christmas though. A truly El Niño-esque pattern will set up with a strong sub-tropical jet stream pumping several big waves of energy across the southern United States. Arctic air remains locked up to our north through the final week of 2018, which means we are in for liquid precipitation from the holiday into the following week. Some of our computer models slow these systems down, which would really water log our region. Below are the outlooks through New Year’s Day.

 

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