The coldest weather of the season is headed our way and will bring with it a first ‘official’ freeze for Tulsa by Sunday morning.

Many of the outlying locations have already had freezing temperatures, as you can see on the accompanying map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. However, for Tulsa proper, we will be setting a record for the most days between freezing temperatures. We tied a record this spring with our last freeze of the spring season on March 6 but have yet to experience a freeze this fall.

Back in 1985, the last spring freeze was also on Mar 6, but the first fall freeze was on Nov 19 giving us 257 days between freezing events. Since we are not expecting a freeze tomorrow morning but a freeze is anticipated for Sunday morning, we should establish a new record for most days between freezing events. By the way, the record latest first freeze in the fall is Nov 28 of 1990.

The next couple of nights will be cold as well with morning lows in the mid-upper 30s tonight under fair skies and a return to northerly winds by morning. The wind shift is associated with a weak front that will be moving across the state tonight and will not have any moisture to work with, so no precipitation. Northerly winds will offset the sunny skies, so daytime highs on Thursday will be generally in the 50s.

Friday morning will likely see some of the colder valleys at or below the freezing mark, but that is not expected for Tulsa proper. Increasing cloud cover during the day will keep a lid on temperatures but we should still make it to near 60.

Brisk southerly winds will shift to northerly Friday night and become strong and gusty with winds near 30 mph at times during the day Saturday. That will keep us in the 40s for daytime highs. There will also be a chance of drizzle or light showers behind the front Friday night followed by clearing skies during the day Saturday.

Right now, Sunday morning looks to be coldest since back in early March, as mentioned above. Freezing temperatures will be widespread and quite likely a hard freeze as well. After that, as you can see on our forecast page, a return to southerly winds will result in moderating temperatures going into much of next week - including through Thanksgiving Day.

As mentioned yesterday, the longer range guidance has been having some timing and intensity issues with the next storm system, and that is illustrated by the two maps - both valid on Thanksgiving Day. Both are very suggestive of a rainy day, but the GFS would also suggest the potential for storms and perhaps even some very heavy rainfall. On the other hand, the ECMWF is not quite as bullish in that regard.

In either event, we continue to forecast at least a chance of rain for Thanksgiving Day along with southerly winds and much above normal temperatures.

As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot