Snow For Some Tonight; Warmer Next Week
Obviously, very cold air is in place and temperatures will stay below freezing until sometime Saturday afternoon. Along with the cold air in place at the surface, the wind flow aloft has a disturbance associated with a strong W-E jet streak that will be moving across the state tonight. The orientation of this system is such that the best forcing for the production of snow during the overnight hours will be basically along the I-40 corridor and a few counties either side of that. As you can see, winter weather advisories have been issued for those locations where travel issues may occur later tonight and into the morning hours.
Snow is currently falling along the OK/KS state line but that activity is expected to dissipate overnight as the better forcing comes out of the southern Rockies and quickly moves eastward. The zone of best forcing and where the best moisture availability overlap could produce total amounts of 1-2 inches. The rapid movement of the system will limit snowfall totals although a few locations may have a brief burst which would result in locally higher amounts. Outside of that zone, a dusting to perhaps an inch appears to be most likely. The timing suggests light snow or flurries by around the midnight hour, any accumulating snows from then till around 6AM when it should be quickly ending from W-E followed by a few flurries. The snow should be all over before the noon hour and that will be followed by clearing skies that night.
It will also be very cold with temperatures dropping into the lower teens tonight which together with northerly winds of 10-15 mph will result in wind chill values in the single digits to near zero for much of the night. Overcast skies and northerly winds of 10-15 through the day Friday will keep temperatures generally in the 20s and wind chill values generally in the teens.
Clear skies and light winds along with some snow on the ground should result in morning lows in the single digits to start the day on Saturday. Full sunshine and a light southerly wind that afternoon should finally get temperatures above the freezing mark with daytime highs only reaching the mid 30s. That will be followed by another cold start to Sunday morning with temperatures in the teens to near 20, but a stronger southerly wind and mostly sunny skies should get us into the low-mid 40s that afternoon.
Gusty southerly winds on Monday will warm us into the 50s, but current data sets suggest considerable cloud cover which would limit the warm-up. Even so, the strength of the winds will likely result in an enhanced fire danger situation. Tuesday will be even warmer as you can see on our forecast page, but another frontal boundary should be arriving later in the day. This will be a very weak system and only a slight chance of showers is currently anticipated.
A brief cool-down on Wednesday will be followed by another frontal boundary during the day Thursday, but that also looks to be a very weak system. A stronger system may be in the works in time for that coming weekend with at least a chance of showers or storms.
As you can see on the 8-14 day outlook, above normal temperatures should be the general rule going into that following week, on average. That time frame may see a more unsettled pattern as well, but there continues to be considerable uncertainty regarding any major weather makers over the next few weeks.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.