Seasonal Collide Bringing Numerous Weather Hazards to Green Country
TULSA, Oklahoma - It’s a tale of two seasons across Green Country. Here on our Tuesday afternoon, we have a temperature spread of 45° from Osage County to Muskogee County. The boundary bisecting the area is the true difference between winter and balmy spring weather. Check out that temperature map from Tuesday afternoon! This front has made it a very tricky forecast, one that could bring severe storms, flash flooding potential and icy conditions all within 36 hours.
Tulsa remains socked into the colder side of this front with drizzle, low clouds and occasional cold rain. Just to the north, a Travel Advisory has been posted for slick bridges and overpasses due to freezing rain creating a glaze of ice. This threat could last all the way until noon Wednesday with the freezing line hardly budging.
A subtle impulse may also fire thunderstorms near and just north of the frontal boundary later tonight, creating a heavy rain and hail threat. Another wave or two of widespread rain and thunder will likely overspread the area on Wednesday, our wettest day of the week. There are some signs that the front could lift far enough north to bring Tulsa into the warm sector. This *could* send the temperature up to 70°. However, what appears more likely to happen is that we get a very small bump in temperatures during the day with storms reinforcing the boundary close to its current location. That means we should prepare for another cold, clammy day in the Tulsa area.
The final wave of storms will likely be the heaviest one, showing up late Wednesday evening. This could bring widespread heavy rain, some hail and locally damaging wind gusts to areas mainly southeast of I-44, closest to the frontal boundary. Up to 2” of rain may fall by early Thursday in far eastern Oklahoma. Whatever northward progress it makes on Wednesday will likely get pushed southeastward by the upper-level energy that night, driving the rain out of the area by Thursday morning. As colder air rushes in from the northwest, a brief transition to freezing rain or sleet is possible, mainly north of Tulsa. The window appears brief for wintry weather again, but it could be enough to cause some slick travel as temperatures quickly dip to freezing Thursday morning.
From there, ALL of the region feels the chill. Temperatures may level off during the day Thursday before plummeting that night into the teens with a wind chill down to 0° Friday morning. If you don’t already have the heavy coat in use, you’ll be reaching for it then.
After a cold, quiet start to the weekend, we’ll gradually warm up as another storm system likely brings more widespread rain to Oklahoma Sunday into Monday. At this time, it appears just warm enough for all liquid precipitation. Another storm system could arrive around Valentine’s Day, hopefully to not put a damper on a date with your sweetheart! The weather pattern into mid-February favors colder and wetter than average weather, which would give us better odds of some wintry weather. For those long-suffering snow-lovers, this might bring some hope!