Alan Crone Tracks Chances For Oklahoma Winter Storm
Wednesday will be the best weather day of the week with abundant sunshine and highs moving into the lower 50s. Temperatures will remain quite cold early this morning with most locations reporting readings in the mid-20s.
Southwest winds will increase slightly today with wind speeds in the 10 to 18 mph range. The potential for some wet and wintry impacts will remain across the state beginning mostly Friday and ending Saturday. All modes of precipitation will be likely. Some travel impacts may be possible.
Locations across southern and southeastern OK will mostly experience cold rain during the event, yet Saturday evening may present a quick burst of either sleet or snow.
Locations across western, central and northern OK will be in a more favorable position for winter weather, including periods of freezing rain, sleet and snow. The exact precipitation types and amounts will continue to change for another day in the data as the main upper-level storm system remains off the west coast.
Confidence should increase some as the system moves onshore later tonight into Thursday.
The first part of this system will arrive Thursday morning to midday as a surface cold front moves across the state bringing another shallow and cold air mass back across most of northern OK. Temps will more than likely top out around 41 to 43 degrees Thursday at midday with temps holding steady near 40 or falling into the upper 30s during the afternoon with gusty north winds. Moisture will be moving up and over the boundary resulting in few spots of either very light showers or some drizzle.
Late Thursday night into early Friday morning the main upper-level system will be moving across the desert southwest and bringing higher amounts of moisture up and over the boundary across the state. This will represent our first window for some wintry weather impacts, mostly in the form of freezing drizzle or very light showers along the I-44 corridor region into far northern OK where surface temps are expected near or even slightly below freezing.
Temps will attempt to move slightly above freezing by Friday midday with mostly cold rain remaining across southern OK while some wintry impacts would develop across northwestern OK. The surface freezing line is critical for the location of freezing rain (rain that freezes on contact). There is a chance that model data is underestimating the magnitude of the cold air arriving Thursday. If this is the case, freezing rain for drizzle will be an issue Friday morning for a portion of central and northern OK.
At this point, this scenario for Friday morning remains a low chance.
Later Friday night into Saturday morning the main upper-level system will be nearing the state. Cold air aloft will move across Oklahoma and attempt to change precipitation from rain to sleet and then to snow.
The timing of the transition and the exact track of the main upper-level storm system will determine with amounts of wintry weather accumulations and the location of this process. It must be stressed that some locations, even Saturday would remain mostly rain for most of the event. At this point, this seems to be across southern and southeastern OK.
The Tulsa metro and northeastern OK would be a favorable position to see some snowfall by midday to early afternoon. Forecast amounts will continue to change but may be in the range of 2 to 5 inches across part of northeastern OK.
Sunday the system is exiting eastward and most it not all precipitation will end by Saturday evening. Cold weather will remain Sunday with moderating temps Monday through next week where some data presents some 50s for the middle of next week.
The main storm system is still over the Pacific Ocean this morning. Forecast variables, such as precipitation types, exact locations and amounts will be refined as this system draws closer to shore.
As it stands now, some travel impacts will be possible, mostly for a short window Friday morning to midday in the form of freezing drizzle along and north of the I-44 corridor, and then likely Saturday as the main system moves across the state with heavier amounts of wintry precipitation, mostly snow, including the Tulsa metro. Some locations will only receive rain for this event, mostly across far southern OK.
Thanks for reading the Wednesday morning weather discussion and blog.