Warmer Weekend, Fire Danger Issues.
I mentioned in yesterday’s blog how the longer range guidance was diverging significantly by the middle of next week and what a problem that is for the forecast by that time frame. Thought a comparison of the guidance received yesterday and that received today will help to illustrate the point. The first map below shows a comparison at the 18,000’ level as forecast by the GFS for 6 PM Wednesday evening of next week. The map on the left was initialized Wednesday morning at 6AM and the one on the left this morning at 6AM.
That is a significant difference in solutions at that level which would have a dramatic difference on the surface sensible weather. The solution on the left would suggest snow for NE OK while the one on the right has us cool and dry.
The next two maps are of the same level and time frame only as forecast by the ECMWF (ie the European forecast model). Again, major differences in the tow solutions with the one on the left showing a very strong closed low circulation near the Big Bend area of Texas and the one on the right completely devoid of that feature. Again, the implications for our surface weather are significantly different between the two solutions.
That lack of run to run consistency creates additional uncertainty for that forecast period around the middle of next week. On the other hand, the fact that the model to model comparison from the runs initialized this morning are now in better agreement by the middle of next week leads to a little more confidence. Of course, additional flips in the model solutions in the days ahead will still be possible as the system of interest is currently way out in the Pacific Ocean. I point these flip flops in solutions out as the model products are widely available now and there is a tendency for some to take the model output a week or two out as absolute truth which is far from the case.
At any rate, the weather in the coming days is looking very Spring-like with much warmer temperatures returning in time for the weekend. Today has been a rather cool, blustery day as you can see with the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.
Those winds will be calming down and the skies will be generally fair for the overnight hours which will lead to a cold start to Friday with most of us in the 20s. Only some high level clouds are expected for the next few days so lots of sunshine and a return to southerly winds will push temperatures well above normal as you can see on our forecast page. In fact, looks like 70s will be the general rule each day for Sat-Mon. Problem is that those southerly winds will be gusting to 20 mph or more Friday and Saturday which together with the warm temperatures and sunny skies will lead to a high fire danger.
A wind shift will arrive on Sunday shifting our winds back to northerly but still rather gusty so still with a fire danger concern. Also, this boundary will not do much to cool things off as temperatures will still be well above normal. There will also be little or no mention of rain with this system.
A stronger surface cool front now looks to arrive during the day Tuesday but with only a slight chance of rain. However, it will cool things off for the middle of next week, assuming the model data does not flip again as it has between yesterday and today and as illustrated above. At any rate, the 6-10 day outlooks going through the Classic weekend suggest no major storm systems impacting our part of the world and keeping temperatures at or a bit above normal.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.