Alan Crone: Blustery Weather Returns Thursday
TULSA, Oklahoma - Today will feature relatively mild weather with highs in the upper 50s to lower 60s before a strong storm system and cold front moves across the state Thursday bringing showers and blustery conditions across eastern Oklahoma. Wind speeds Thursday may approach wind advisory criteria across eastern Oklahoma and possibly even high wind warning levels across central to northwestern Oklahoma. As the system exits early Friday morning a very small window will remain for a rain-snow mix in a few spots to our west or southwest with no accumulations likely. This is based on the current model data position of the main upper level system to our south and the expected thermal profiles across eastern Oklahoma. Any change in the position of the low could bring changes to this portion of the forecast. Once the system leaves the state, pleasant weather is likely to remain for the weekend.
A weak boundary is positioned across northern Oklahoma this morning with a broad range of temps from the 30s, 40s and 50s across eastern Oklahoma. The front will become diffuse with southeast winds returning area wide by mid-morning to afternoon before the storm system drops across the state. After a relatively pleasant day, a few sprinkles or showers will be possible this evening as the main system nears the region.
Our main upper level trough is located across the pacific northwest this morning and will rapidly drop through the Rockies this afternoon. As this occurs, a surface area of low pressure will quickly develop across southeastern Colorado and move southeast into the high plains of Texas this afternoon and evening while continuing to grow stronger. This surface low is expected to move across the Red River Valley or far north Texas Thursday morning to midday with south winds changing to the northwest across eastern Oklahoma by Thursday morning to midday. Showers with some thunder will become possible Thursday as this strong system influences our area. Temps will start in the upper 40s and lower 50s Thursday morning but fall into the upper 30s and lower 40s by late afternoon along with very strong northwest winds that may reach 30 to 45 mph across northeastern Oklahoma. Wind speeds across the western third of the state could be from 40 to 60 mph.
As the main upper level system moves across the plains, a new low-pressure area is likely to develop at the base of this trough. The location of this upper level feature will bring some wintry weather threats to the northwest or western side of the low by late Thursday night into early Friday morning. As the data stands now, this would occur across north Texas and west of Fort Worth to near Palo Pinto to Mineral Wells and possibly northward to the Red River. If the low tracks slightly northward, some wet minor accumulations would be possible along the I-35 region of southcentral Oklahoma. More northward, the main thermal profile for any wintry precipitation would be focused more along any wet bulb cooling that could occur on the far western and northwestern shield of the decaying precip zone early Friday morning. This scenario warrants a few mentions but should remain a very low probability based on current data.
The system may linger for a while Friday morning with spotty showers and a continuation of blustery weather. Friday afternoon the system will exit with improving conditions likely this weekend despite a weak front moving across the state Sunday bringing a wind shift along with a few clouds. Most of next week appears rather uneventful from a weather standpoint.
Thanks for reading the Wednesday morning weather discussion and blog.