Hard to believe this is February, particularly when you look at the record or near record, setting warm temperatures expected later in the week as is apparent on our forecast page. By the way, this is quite a contrast to one year ago when we had a high in the 40s on this date and the following day failed to get above freezing, along with the nearly 3 inches of snow that feel on Feb 16, 2015.

The normal daytime high at this time of year is 53 degrees to put this in perspective.

In contrast, so far this winter, our total snowfall stands at 3.0” as recorded at the NWS office near 11th and 169; obviously your particular location may have received more or less, but that is what will go into the record books so far for Tulsa. Keep in mind, though, that some of our heaviest snows have occurred in March, so winter is not over yet, although there are no signs of anything wintry coming our way for the rest of this month.

Notice for example, the 8-14-day outlooks which continue to suggest temperatures averaging above normal through that time period, along with little or no active weather. Not only that but, as the 7-day QPF map suggests for the rest of this week and through the coming weekend, what moisture we may receive will be on the light side. Any heavier rainfall potential will be further SE, which has been the case for quite some time now.

Almost hate to say this, but we are starting to get dry, as you can see by the year to date rainfall totals across the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Many locations have yet to receive as much as an inch of rain.

And to think, the calendar year of 2015 was the wettest on record statewide, and we finished the year with those record-setting rains at the end of December. Since then, the weather pattern has been much more stable and our moisture supply has been pretty well shut down.

The drier conditions so far this year, together with the abundant vegetation that followed from the wetness of last year, makes for a dangerous fire weather season. That will be the major concern in the days ahead as temperatures will remain much above normal each day, humidity levels will be dropping off rapidly with the daytime heating, and any wind at all will create dangerous fire weather conditions.

Right now, it would appear that combination will be greatest this Thursday when we are expecting near record setting warm daytime temperatures along with a gusty SW wind. But, any given day with these conditions can be problematic.

Although there will be some frontal boundaries moving across the state from time to time, with an accompanying shift in the winds, they will be moisture starved, so little or no rain is anticipated until perhaps over the course of this coming weekend. Even then, our chances are rather small.

But, the shifting winds will not do much except provide a minor bump in the road with respect to temperatures. Northerly winds Tuesday, for example, will not cool us off much; another weak wind shift is expected along about Friday, followed by a stronger system moving through during the Sunday/Monday time frame. That latter system will bring much cooler air back over the state, but only in comparison to the days that precede it as temperatures will still be warmer than normal for this time of year.

So, enjoy this early taste of spring. There is bound to be some colder weather in our future, it is just not apparent during this forecast cycle.

Dick Faurot