What a difference a day can make, particularly at this time of year.

Notice the 24-hour temperature change map as of late this afternoon, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. That is a pretty good drop in temperature across the state, but, the cool front that brought this cooler air did not bring much in the way of rainfall. The 24 hour rainfall map is also shown, and most locations did not even receive enough to settle the dust. As is often the case, a few lucky folks did pick up enough rain to do some short-term good, but it will not impact the developing drought situation.

Notice the drought monitor, which was updated yesterday, continues to indicate an expanding area of drought across OK. This is referred to as a flash drought, as it has developed rapidly on the heels of one of the wettest spring and early summer periods on record.

At any rate, the cooler air that arrived today will stay with us for the next few days, providing a rather pleasant fall weekend. The main question mark for the short term is the impact some returning mid-level clouds may or may not have on temperatures.

Although our skies cleared out pretty well this afternoon, current trends suggest a layer of mid-level clouds will return from the west tonight. The main impact will be to prevent temperatures from totally bottoming out as our dew points have dropped into the 30s. However, we are not expecting it to be that cold, and most locations should be in the 40s and some, perhaps, only in the lower 50s - depending on the timing and thickness of that cloud layer.

Light NE winds overnight will become more E to SE during the day Saturday, with wind speeds generally less than 10 mph. The clouds are expected to thin out enough for temperatures to rebound back into the upper 60s to near 70 that afternoon.

After that, a more SE wind on Sunday and stronger southerly winds for early next week will start a warming trend, as you can see on our forecast page. That will also result in fire danger concerns due to the stronger winds and warmer temperatures, together, with low humidity levels and the developing drought.

Later in the week, there will be at least a slim chance for rain, but the system that earlier in the week looked very promising is now shifting the focus for some decent rainfall further west and south, as you can see on the 7-day QPF map.

A very weak front should also be arriving later in the week, but is not currently expected to have a major impact on temperatures. At least we do not see a return to the record-setting heat that impacted portions of the state over the last few days.

In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot