November Will Be a Month of Change
It’s hard to believe that November is here! This may be in part due to a warmer than normal month October that fooled the senses that it actually was and is autumn. For Tulsa, temperatures averaged 1.6° above normal, which is actually statistically significant. This was helped in part by several streaks of warmth, peaking on the 15th when Tulsa hit an unusually late 90° reading. We did get cool (38° on the 26th), but we’ve yet to see our first freeze.
The average date for the first freeze in Tulsa isn’t until November 2nd, but it’ll be falling later (potentially much later) than that. After a wet and cool spell to close October, the progressive nature of the jet stream pattern allows warmer temperatures to shift right back into place as stronger south winds return in the coming days. High temperatures will be well into the 70s to near 80° through midweek as another storm system digs into the Southwest U.S., putting us in that warm sector for this stretch of time.
That storm system will push into Oklahoma around Thursday, pumping in ample Gulf moisture. After a drier than normal October (by almost 2.5”), this will be welcome rainfall yet again. A few storms may be in the mix, but instability will be the lacking component. This will hopefully stall a potential drought building in northeast Oklahoma and reduce the drought further over the southern portion of our state. Still, Tulsa is over 10” above normal with rainfall for the year thanks to our very wet spring.
A cool-down comes this weekend as high temperatures may fall below 60° for only the second time this season. Clouds and moisture may hang around, precluding the risk of a freeze, but we can’t quite rule one out just beyond the scope of our 7-day forecast. The type of weather pattern that appears to stick around is one typical of an El Niño year: fairly zonal (west to east) split jet stream flow with storm systems emerging from the Southwest U.S. These will be moisture-laden storm systems in many cases, but not ones pulling much Arctic air down from the north. As long as it stays bottled up that direction, we could be waiting until late in the month for our first official and hard freeze (28°). See the two maps outlining the warmer and wetter than normal pattern for the month ahead.
You may have noticed that fall foliage is a bit delayed this year. That is thanks in part to a lack of freezing temperatures and a warmer than normal pattern overall. There is lots of green foliage, but leafs are starting to leave a lot of trees, especially in more exposed locations. I think colors will be at their best between next weekend and the following weekend. By mid-month, any remaining non-brown color in the leaves will be a nice bonus!
Enjoy the warmth this next week. Soon, 70s will be hard to come by. In fact, by the end of November, the average high temperature in Tulsa is just 54°! That, combined with the now early sunset prior to 5:30pm is a sure reminder that the seasons are changing at a fast pace, even if the weather is lagging behind. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and my Facebook page for the latest weather updates!