Potent Storm System Targeting Green Country
When it gets mild and windy this time of year, it’s often a sign the weather is about to change dramatically in Oklahoma. An active jet stream pattern is sending out wave after wave of energy this week. This translates to periods of inclement weather depending on the tracks of those storm systems. One such system is making a B-line for Green Country and is set to douse the area in heavy rain and possibly a few snowflakes.
The immediate issue at hand is elevated fire danger. Gusty south winds combined with low relative humidity are creating that threat thanks to generally dry and dormant vegetation around. Fires could spread up to 170 feet per minute under these conditions through Tuesday evening. The threat settles down on Wednesday, a transition day to the wet spell awaiting us.
Wednesday night, moisture will be funneled northward ahead of the strong upper level low pressure system, which will trigger lots of showers and possibly a few storms to form. Temperatures on Wednesday night will only drop a few degrees, but temperatures will drop off during the day Thursday as a strong north wind ushers in colder air. That makes Thursday a very raw day with periods of rain and a gusty north wind up to 35 mph. At this point, it appears we’ll stay above freezing for the duration of the storm system. However, deepening cold air beneath the incoming low may allow some places to see a mix or brief transition to snow. Below is the general timeline for this activity.
There could be some heavy rain amounts recorded in our area before this system gradually slides east Friday morning. An inch or two is certainly not out of the question. However, this is not locked in. As this storm system actually moves ashore today, it will get better sampled and thus, modeled more accurately. As with last week’s non-winter storm, it could take a last minute dive to the south and bypass the area. This might be why I’m a little gun shy to talk snow chances even though there are indications somewhere between Green Country and central Texas could see a period of heavy snow, depending on the track of the storm. As of now, it appears to be a non-issue because we’d likely be too warm for accumulation through Thursday night, especially on roadways. However, it is still a close call! The best I can say is to “stay tuned.”
After this system passes, we’ll be left with nice, mild weather over the weekend. This bodes well for all of those rescheduled holiday events! Arctic air remains locked up to the north (otherwise Thursday’s storm could be a full-on blizzard!) The fast-moving, progressive jet stream won’t likely allow any storm system to latch on to much of that Arctic air and pull it south in the coming week as well. In fact, several passing systems early next week may move too quickly to even draw up Gulf moisture for us to have rainfall.
As we get closer to Christmas, it appears that pattern is maintained. This means from coast-to-coast, much of the U.S. will thaw out, especially to our east where they’ve had some unseasonably cold air and big snowfalls. Even though Christmas is still two weeks out, it’s starting to become clear the chances of a White Christmas are lower than normal. But then again, we know a lot can change in two days so we certainly can’t rule it out! Below are the outlooks leading up to Christmas Day for the U.S.