High Fire Danger Friday Afternoon Across Green Country
TULSA, Oklahoma - A few showers and storms have developed overnight and will quickly exit the area early this morning. While I can’t rule out a few spotty showers and storms during the next hour or two (pre-dawn mostly) our main focus will be the strong southwest winds and warmer weather resulting in near critically high fire danger issues by midday to afternoon.
A Red Flag warning has been expanded to include all of eastern Oklahoma and portions of northwest Arkansas. The fire spread will be exceptionally fast, typically from 280 to 330 feet per minute with an atmosphere supporting very dry air surging into the area by noon to 2 pm today.
The low-level moisture will be swept to the south and east of the immediate area but will also quickly return Saturday night into Sunday as the main upper level storm system draws closer to the central plains. Thunderstorm chances, some possibly strong to severe, will remain for Sunday with the system exiting the area sometime early Monday morning. The resulting weather pattern next week appears rather uneventful other than some sensible temp changes on occasion. Our next stronger looking system will arrive late next week or possibly into the weekend.
Our main upper level system remains west of the area this morning, but a lead wave is ejecting across the plains early this morning with mid-level jets nearing 70 to 80 knots. A developing warm front has quickly moved into the Missouri Valley and will be the short-term focus for showers and storms during the next hour or two. A stray shower may develop along the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line region but would quickly move eastward while gaining strength as strong to severe storms later today well to our east.
A surface low pressure area will rapidly move across southern Kansas by midday with a trailing dry-line moving from the west to east across the state bringing dry air quickly past the metro by midday. Southwest to west winds will increase speeds near 20 to near 40 mph by afternoon creating a very high fire spread condition across most of the state as our temps move into the upper 70s east into the lower 80s west by afternoon. Later tonight the surface cold front will arrive with northwest winds and falling temps. Saturday morning lows will be in the lower 40s for most locations with daytime highs in the upper 60s to lower 70s. Pleasant weather is likely for most of Saturday.
By Saturday evening into Sunday morning surface pressures will rapidly fall across the Lee of the Rockies in advance of the main upper level trough drawing near. Southeast winds will advect the higher dew points northwest with the deeper moisture more than likely remaining across the Red River Valley into far southeastern Oklahoma and northeast Texas. The data has converged on a solution of bringing the surface low directly across the state Sunday while exiting far northeast Oklahoma early Monday morning. As this process occurs, storms will develop in some locations Sunday afternoon and evening and could be strong to severe. More than adequate shear will be in place, yet the quality and depth of moisture may be the only lacking factor for some severe storms over a larger portion of eastern Oklahoma with the true warm sector again located across far southeastern Oklahoma into north Texas.
The system has slowed some in the data and would require a mention of some early Monday morning showers and storms before quickly being dry slotted. Pleasant weather should remain.
Thanks for reading the Friday morning weather discussion and blog.