Cloudy Wednesday Across Eastern Oklahoma
TULSA, Oklahoma - Low clouds will continue to develop across part of the area this morning and may stick around for a while. The sunshine was great yesterday, but we’re more than likely looking at mostly cloudy conditions for most of the day. We’ll have a few sunbreaks, but the clouds will be the dominate feature.
Temperatures this morning will remain above freezing for the majority of eastern Oklahoma and no threats for slick spots will remain this morning on bridges or overpasses. Highs this afternoon will be like yesterday with many locations reaching the lower 50s along with south winds near 10 to 15 mph. We’re tracking three systems now over the next 10 days. The first arrives late tonight into Thursday morning, the 2nd late Friday night into Saturday, and the third next Tuesday or Wednesday. It’s the 2nd one that brings the cold air as a strong push of cold air arrives late Friday night bringing the temperatures down for the weekend. Strong north winds Saturday will create wind chills in the teens to single digits by afternoon. Wind chill values Sunday morning may range from around 0 to 10. And there will be a chance for some rain changing to snow Saturday morning with some minor accumulations possible somewhere across the state. The main upper level storm track continues to change with each run. This will also change the positioning and possible amounts of the snow portion of the forecast. The confidence regarding the snowfall continues to remain. The third system may also bring another shot of cold air and possibly some more rain and snow chances into northern Oklahoma either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.
The first system arriving tonight doesn’t have a lot of moisture to deal with, but some spotty showers will be possible as the upper level system moves across the central plains causing a surface low to quickly move eastward across northern Oklahoma. Temperatures will be in the upper 30s and lower 40s late tonight into Wednesday morning with no threats of freezing precip across northeastern Oklahoma. Areas along the east-central Kansas region into I-70 may experience some freezing rain or sleet. If you have travel plans north early Thursday morning, remain aware of this potential. Again, not a lot, but a few spotty showers or pockets of drizzle may be possible late today into early Thursday morning.
Thursday afternoon and Friday south winds will return with a signal for a fast warm up before the major cold front rolls across the area late Friday night. Thursday highs will be in the lower to mid-50s. Friday morning starts near freezing and then skyrockets to nearly 60 degrees with south winds at 15 to 25 mph. Moisture will stream northward during this period with increasing rain chances. Most data support us staying rain free Friday morning, but this pattern can produce some spotty showers well in advance of the main system. We’ll have low chances Friday morning. Friday afternoon and evening rain and possibly some thunder will increase across central and eastern Oklahoma with possibility of a strong storm across southeastern Oklahoma late Friday night.
Sometime pre-dawn Saturday, the colder air, both at the surface and aloft, will rapidly spread across the area. Rain will quickly transition to a small window of sleet and then snow, depending upon the exact track of the upper level system and northwest winds will blow from 20 to 30 mph. I need to stress, we still don’t know exactly where this zone will occur. The main upper level feature we’re tracking is still thousands of miles away from the coastline this morning and will not be modeled correctly until Thursday night or early Friday morning. The EURO has now taken the main upper level low south, along the Red River, with very little snow impacts across northern Oklahoma, while the GFS now has flipped and keeps some snow chances across northern Oklahoma. These variations in the track of the upper level low also have impacts on the magnitude of the cold air. Locations with snow cover could be ten degrees colder Saturday evening and Sunday compared to those with no snow cover.
Our forecast has been a compromise of these models with a definite nod to the lower side of temperature guidance. We may need to bring a few of these numbers up a hair for Sunday, just in case the more southern route of the upper level low pans out. O the joy of winter forecasting.
Monday will remain cold with lows in the teens and highs in the upper 30s near 40 along with south winds at 10 to 25 mph. Not exactly perfect parade weather for the Martin Luther Jr. Parade in Tulsa. Lots of layers!
Tuesday the next upper wave is projected to move across the plains with a mention of more cold air Wednesday into late next week. This one may also bring some mentions of rain or snow to part of the state based on the upper air pattern.
Thanks for reading the Wednesday morning forecast discussion and blog. Keep in mind that portions of the forecast are likely to go through some changes over the next few days.