Severe Weather Threat Coming With a Big Cold Surge to Follow
Summer has finally given way to true fall weather in Oklahoma. It came late, but now that the temperatures have tumbled, we expect that trend to continue, especially when another major cold front arrives later this week. Essentially, an unseasonably large ridge of high pressure is now being replaced by a very deep trough in the jet stream, resulting in weather whiplash for our region here in the first half of October. Below, is that temperature trend showing 90s and 30s in the same 10-day stretch of time for Tulsa!
Our next temperature transition likely will come with a blast of heavy rain and potential severe weather. Our picture-perfect fall weather will give way to windier, cloudier, but warmer conditions ahead of our cold front projected to arrive Thursday afternoon. A few showers may dampen our streets Wednesday, but any significant thunderstorm activity likely holds off until Thursday. A round or two of severe weather is possible, starting early that morning. High winds are the primary threat given how strong the winds are aloft. However, large hail and even a brief tornado cannot be ruled out through early Thursday evening. Below is our storm zone for Thursday.
After the absolute deluge over the weekend east of Tulsa leading to major river flooding, additional downpours are far from welcome. This storm system is trending toward a faster passage which will limit rainfall totals, but there still could be a quick inch or two that falls in areas, especially east of Tulsa. That could easily cause low spots to get water-logged again or even send a few rivers and reservoirs higher. Below is the projected rainfall through Friday.
Speaking of Friday, that is likely to be our coldest day since mid-April! It may feel like a day out of December with temperatures in the 40s to lower 50s and a blustery north wind. After being acclimated to muggy weather, this will be quite the shock to our systems. Thus, I’ll go ahead and put out a call for coats by the end of the week if you are spending any significant time outdoors.
Temperatures are projected to bottom out Saturday morning as the winds get lighter and the skies clear out. Combined with the unseasonably dry air, we could see those readings dipping to frosty levels just north and east of Tulsa. Above is the overall pattern that brings us this early taste of winter. Western Kansas and the panhandle of Oklahoma may even see a few flakes of snow out of it!
Weekend temperatures will quickly rebound as the cold air shifts east and is replaced by warmer winds. In fact, the outlook into Fall Break (for the kiddos) is for warmer and potentially wetter than normal conditions for that timeframe. It’s safe to say we may not see anymore 90s showing up, but we probably still have a few more 80° days left before the cold season fully takes hold. As is usually the case, we stair step our way to cold air, it rarely comes gradually in Oklahoma.