Another Big Swing in Temperatures This Week
A powerful storm system resulting in over a dozen deaths across the Deep South left our state with nothing more than a few rumbles of thunder and a soaking rain for some. This was welcome news as Oklahoma is still reeling from the effects of a very dry 2016. The areas that needed rain the most did not see much of it, but where it fell, it was welcome. In fact, Tulsa came in with a daily record rainfall total of 1.67”, most of which fell in the hours after midnight on our Sunday morning. You can see more rainfall totals from the weekend below.
Had this same storm system moved into a colder air mass, we would have been in the prime location for a major snowfall. However, Arctic air has long since eroded and much of the Lower 48 is experiencing a mid-winter thaw. You’d have to head to the Rockies or all the way north midway into South Dakota before you came across snow cover in fact. Here in the heart of winter, it’s a bit unusual. While true Arctic is locked up (fittingly) at the Arctic Circle for now, a cool-down will bring winter-like conditions back to our region this week.
A storm system, moderate in strength, approaches Tuesday enhancing our southerly winds. This brings a warm-up before our drop to seasonable temperatures. The issue on Tuesday will be those winds matched with dry air and dormant vegetation. You guessed it – we’ve got another day of fire danger on our hands. That is the negative aspect of the day. The positive is a high at or above 70°! Then, the inevitable temperature tumble ensues as shown below.
From Wednesday through the weekend, a colder set-up is in place for Oklahoma, putting us very close to our January averages day in and day out. After such a cloud-filled, dreary week last week, this is good news to our sun-starved population. It’s also a good thing we received the weekend rainfall because significant Gulf moisture may not return to the Southern Plains for nearly two weeks. The Outlook into early February below shows that drier than normal pattern here during the climatologically driest time of the year. This means we’ll probably be rain or snow-free for quite a spell. The only change then to come will be a warming trend next week, bringing temperatures back above normal as we close out the month.