A Swing in Seasons This Week
It was a wintry weekend and temperatures Monday morning dipped to as cold as 3° in Oilton west of Tulsa. In just a few days, we can add SEVENTY degrees to that for the average high temperatures in our region. From winter to spring we’ll go in a hurry, but winter is far from done with us yet.
Southerly winds are just starting to kick into gear in Green Country. It not only brings back the warmth, but also the moisture. That moisture will initially counteract the warm-up due to increasing the cloud cover. However, some seriously warm air gets pumped into the area by Wednesday despite clouds. You could call it a heart AND body warming experience for Valentine’s Day!
The jet stream is reorganizing from its persistent set-up so far this winter where we had a trough over the eastern U.S. and a ridge over the west. Instead, we have a jet stream lined up from the Southwest U.S. and angling to the northeast from there. This allows storm systems to come at us with Gulf moisture drawn in ahead of it. We’re going to see this pattern (hopefully) pay off bringing much-needed rainfall to our drought-stricken region. However, it’ll only allow for a few spits of rain starting Wednesday with a possibly heavier round of rain by Thursday thanks to a cold front passage. Until that cold front arrives, an unseasonably warm, humid air mass will set in. Even with mostly cloudy skies, we’re likely to hit 70° both Wednesday and Thursday!
In February though, that type of warmth can’t really last around here. That cold front will cut into the state and bring sharply colder temperatures back to the region. This weather whiplash may come with a few storms on the front side and a brief wintry mix on the back side. As it looks right now, the temperature swing will be the major headline this week with the precipitation just getting a side mention. That isn’t good news for snow lovers and the Tulsa area as a whole. This is our 3rd driest start to any year on record for the city so far.
It’s a brief cold spell on Friday before temperatures start to rise again by the weekend. The graph above shows the kind of ride we’re on. Notice the big dip early next week. That is yet another storm system in this progressive jet stream pattern that will yield a big drop in temperatures that might lead to more substantial precipitation for our region. Whether it’s liquid or frozen is still a big question. What does bode well for us is that this overall weather pattern usually brings above-normal precipitation to our region. It likely sticks around for the rest of February, which means we might finally make up some of our precipitation deficit. As you see in the first map, we’re not alone in this rampant drought. The second map is the good news that comes in the next 2 weeks. Perhaps we’ll finally end up with a decent snow in that stretch as well. After all, it’s our prime season for a good snowfall.