Warmth, Wind and Severe Storms Ahead
After downright nasty weather over a good portion of the weekend, we have cleared out and warmed up in a hurry. Temperatures on Monday are running nearly 20° above yesterday’s readings in some places. This warm surge comes ahead of another big storm system that looks to bring us our greatest severe weather threat so far this season.
Gusty south winds have taken hold of the region and will not relent until a cold front arrives early Thursday morning. The wind will continue to whip up fire danger concerns, especially north of Tulsa where rainfall was minimal over the weekend. Fortunately, we continue to green up, limiting that threat. Winds will gust up to and over 35 mph nearly each day this week as the strong storm system approaches from the west. It will also allow quality Gulf moisture to surge northward as well, setting the stage for storms midweek.
Clouds will increase Tuesday, but the first chance of rain comes early Wednesday. A few pop-up showers and isolated thunderstorms may form with a lead wave sweeping past the state. Most of the day Wednesday is likely dry despite being clouded over. The CAP (warm air aloft that prevents upward movement in the atmosphere) will likely keep storms at bay until late afternoon or evening. A dry line is likely to organize to our west with a cold front arriving from the north. Both will be a focus for storm development. Storms that form on the dry line could become supercells with a risk of very large hail and perhaps a few tornadoes. The most likely zone for that is south of I-40 Wednesday evening, but the exact location of storm development is far from nailed down. Storms that form further north *may* be less severe as there are indications they could form just behind the front and be elevated. Nonetheless, all of Green Country will be under the gun midweek. In the next day, we will be able to better pinpoint the details and timing of this risk, including what parts of the area are most likely to bear the brunt of these powerful storms. Below is the timeline for rain and storms midweek.
This storm system will sweep past the region with up to an inch of rain falling in some locations. That rain may not fully come to an end until Thursday evening as the back-side of the deepening storm system slowly pivots to our east. Below are potential rain totals through midweek. A strong northwest wind will send temperatures back below normal for Thursday and Friday as well.
As we move into the holiday weekend, warmth will be fast to return. Thanks to a ridge in the jet stream, the skies will be clear and we’ll have beautiful weather for all of those Easter egg hunts and spring festivals. Easter Sunday looks windy, warm (high near 80°) and mostly dry, but another storm system will be on its way into the region.
Now that we are in the second half of April, severe weather season is fully underway. The ingredients readily come together with most passing storm systems so we will likely be seeing these episodes every 3 to 5 days. That active pattern is likely to carry on through the end of April as our wetter than normal outlook shows below. It is time to prepare your family for the season! For more severe weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page.