Winter Weather: Friday Morning Update With Alan Crone
Model data is shifting the storm system more southward compared to Thursday's runs and is trending much drier in the northern third of the area. A few hi-resolution models will offer a decent coverage of rain changing to snow near the metro southward for Saturday midday while the global operational models are dry across the north and wet to the south.
We kept our 1- to 2-inch accumulation swath across a smaller part of northeastern OK compared to Thursday’s forecast, but did drop the higher end numbers that were located to our west. Today I’ve had to lower the actual chance of snow for Saturday due to the possibility of a lower coverage across northern OK and southern Kansas.
The main upper-level system is still located across or near the Baja this morning. It’s made very little progress eastward and his been digging slowly southward for the last 24 hours. The operational model data is more than likely ingesting better upper air reports now that the system is closer to the coast. Additional model data changes are still expected later today as the main low moves more to the east. Currently, the data has trended weaker with the main upper-level system as it ejects eastward over the next 36 hours.
Most data are now keeping the upper system mostly open as it moves across north TX Saturday before closing slightly near the Texarkana region Sunday morning compared to previous runs that suggested a stronger, closed type low across the Red River. The lift associated with this rather large system is expansive and will generate widespread precipitation across the southern sections of the state into Texas over the next 36 hours.
Heavy rainfall is even possible along the Red River portion of southeastern OK into north TX and moderate snowfall across the southwestern sections of Oklahoma. Locations along and north of highway 412 could theoretically be bone dry now with this system. Since the system may still not be modeled correctly, even at this point, additional changes are still possible to the Saturday forecast. Currently, the chance for some light snow (1 to 2) inches will remain, but for locations near and slightly south of the metro Saturday late morning to afternoon. The confidence for this system remains very low considering we’re about 36 hours away and these snowfall accumulation numbers may be too high.
Friday morning temps are near and below freezing along the I-44 region. While most precipitation is located along the Red River, a few small areas of drizzle or sleet can’t be ruled out but seem very unlikely at this point. A little north of the metro, a few flurries will be possible. We’ll make a few mentions, but that’s about it. Most, if not all today will be precip free across northern OK with rain developing later today to our south.
Once this system passes the state late Saturday night into Sunday morning, we’ll be on the upswing with gradually warming weather Monday and moderating into the 50s by the middle of next week with another system nearing the state Wednesday and Thursday that may offer a few showers across eastern OK.
Our winter storm watch has been canceled for northeastern OK but remains in effect for a portion of southwestern OK to near OKC. A winter weather advisory remains for NW Arkansas Saturday. A short-term winter weather advisory may be required for locations near the Tulsa metro tomorrow morning through early afternoon but is currently not in effect.
Any snow-sleet accumulations are not expected to be significant for those areas that do receive winter precipitation Saturday. Some locations may remain dry Saturday across far northern OK and southern Kansas.
Additional changes are still likely due to the low confidence nature of the forecast.
Thanks for reading the Friday morning weather discussion and blog.