Bitter Cold, Some Snow
Usually at this time of year, there will be huge differences from one day to the next in favor of a dramatic drop in temperatures. However, notice the 24 hour temperature change as of late this afternoon and it is obvious that some very warm air has rapidly surged northward, particular over the more western counties.
Compare that with the actual daytime highs so far today and there is quite a contrast between the eastern half of the state and the western half. A shallow pocket of cool, dry air has been difficult to dislodge for the SE counties but sunshine and a strong SW wind for the western counties has obviously warmed things up considerably.
Speaking of the difference a day can make, just wait till tomorrow. Much colder air will be moving in behind a strong cold front as it moves across the state after the midnight hour. As soon as the winds shift to the N tonight, look for temperatures to quickly fall into the 30s and we should be at or below freezing by the noon hour. Temperatures will continue to fall into the 20s for the afternoon and all the way to single digits to start the day on Sunday. Not only that, but gusty northerly winds of 20-30 mph or more will push those wind chill values into the single digits for much of the day Saturday and well below zero for Saturday night and Sunday morning. Notice the projected wind chill map for Sunday morning and for that reason, a wind chill advisory has been issued by the good folks at the local NWS office.
Along with the cold will come some wintry weather moving in from the NW Saturday afternoon and ending Saturday night. This is a fast moving system and it does not have a lot of moisture to work with; also the vertical profile of moisture is a limitation. As a result, there will be the potential for some ice pellets initially before the changeover to snow. Given the strength of the winds, what snow does fall will be difficult to measure as far as accumulations are concerned. But, current projections suggest a dusting to perhaps an inch with the potential for somewhat greater amounts along the OK/KS state line and further north.
As you can see on our forecast page, daytime highs on Sunday will struggle to get out of the teens despite sunny skies. Clear skies, light winds, and some snow on the ground should lead to the coldest temperatures on Monday morning when most locations will be in the single digits and some of the colder valleys in N/NE OK could see below zero readings.
Monday will also struggle to get above freezing but southerly winds will moderate temperatures through the middle of the week. Another front looks to arrive during the day Wednesday shifting our winds back to northerly through Thursday. But, this system is of Pacific origin and therefore will only have a relatively minor impact on temperatures. In fact, a quick return to southerly winds should warm things back going into Christmas weekend.
Right now, Christmas Eve looks to be mostly cloudy with gusty southerly winds and very mild with temperatures likely in the 50s. The longer range guidance is not in agreement with regard to the next cold front which according to one model will arrive that night and another not till late on Christmas day. In either event, cannot at this time frame rule out the possibility of a few rain showers on Christmas day and temperatures should be generally in the 40s. At least, it certainly does not appear to be at all favorable for a White Christmas.
In any event, this will not bring arctic air either as the 8-14 day outlook which will get us up to the end of the year suggests temperatures, on average, should be running above normal for that time period. That time period should also be more active with respect to at least some chances for precipitation.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.