Heavy Rain, Powerful Winds Coming to Green Country
This is no run-of-the-mill storm system. It’s at the upper end of strength for what we usually see in the Great Plains. In all, it means we’re in for wild weather over the next 24 to 36 hours across the state.
It’s the time of the year for these monster storms to develop due to a powerful jet stream interacting with a warmer air starting to build in the Northern Hemisphere. As the main upper-level energy kicks into the Plains tonight, we will see several batches of heavy rain and storms develop. The next round will arrive in the late afternoon and evening hours, mainly across northeast Oklahoma into southeast Kansas. Occasional downpours and infrequent lightning are possible. Drizzle and light showers can be expected elsewhere through tonight.
Another band of heavy and potentially severe storms will develop across west Texas later tonight and expand into Oklahoma into Wednesday morning. While we won’t have the necessary instability in place to bring blockbuster storms to Green Country, this heavy squall line could send 50 mph wind gusts to the ground. It likely arrives in the metro area around sunrise Wednesday with rainfall tapering off by late morning. It’s shaping up to be a very messy Wednesday morning commute.
Between today and tomorrow morning’s rainfall, we could end up with a few areas of minor flooding. The soil is saturated and all it takes is a prolonged downpour to create some dangerous run-off. This could be another issue drivers might face Wednesday morning. Below are additional rain totals possible through Wednesday.
Another sign of the storm’s strength will be the fact that temperatures may rise overnight as strong south winds develop. Those winds will become especially noticeable in our morning downpours and in the afternoon as the skies clear and the center of the powerful storm system pushes closer to us in Kansas. By afternoon, widespread wind gusts between 40 and 60 mph are likely, especially west of Tulsa. These winds will remain strong into Wednesday night and carry on with a slight drop in intensity into Thursday. Clearly, you will want to secure any loose objects outside. There is also the potential for some tree damage and spotty power outages. Think back to Saturday. It will be AT LEAST as windy as it was then.
Eventually the winds will settle down later in the week as colder air spills into the state. Temperatures will dip back below freezing at night with a streak of below-average readings into the weekend. Aside from the cool spell, it will end up being a nice and tranquil start to Spring Break week around here.