Summer Temperatures Before Spring Storm Chances Return To Northeastern Oklahoma
Today will be the warmest day we've experienced in quite a while with afternoon highs reaching the upper 80s and lower 90s across northeastern OK. Maximum daily records are likely in Tulsa, OKC and a few other locations. I have the Tulsa metro at 92 this afternoon, surpassing the old record of 87 from 1918. South to southwest winds from 10 to 25 mph will be likely from midday to afternoon with a potential for increasing fire spread rates across the western and central part of the state. We'll encourage caution today, but recent rainfall will act to temper the fire potential in some but not all locations across eastern OK. We're also continuing to track another strong storm system that will bring storm chances into the region, including a slight chance later tonight and Friday morning to the northern sections and better chances Friday afternoon and evening. Severe weather threats will be increasing with this system by Friday afternoon and evening, including all modes of severe storms, but a layer of warm air aloft could inhibit storm development in many locations.
A weak surface boundary will be positioned across far northern OK tonight as the first wave of upper air energy arrives from the main trough to our west. To the south of this boundary, a strong layer of warm air aloft will suppress any storm formation while storms may form north of the front, across southeastern Kansas and move northward pre-dawn Friday. The main threat will be large hail and heavy downpours. Almost all these storms will remain well north of the metro, but I continue to keep a small chance on the map to account for errors in the position of the front. We should be good.
Friday afternoon the main upper trough will draw closer the four corners region with the surface front slowly drifting southward. We anticipate this boundary near or northwest of the I-44 corridor region by afternoon with a dry line nearing highway 69 by evening. These two regions will support severe storm development for the evening with strong to severe storms likely developing. I’m a little unsure of the coverage of storm activity due to the capping layer but will keep a decent chance of storms in the forecast through the evening. The latest few runs of some higher resolution data have trended toward a dryer solution but with the expected storm parameters in place, I feel it’s prudent to keep a healthy chance of storms in the forecast. The dry line will sweep across the region by evening with the threat of the showers and storms exiting the far southeastern quadrant by 1am to 6am Saturday morning. The weekend continues to look good with daytime highs in the lower 70s with more sunshine.
Early next week another strong looking upper air system will arrive with additional storms becoming likely Monday afternoon and evening. The data has changed some in the positioning of important synoptic features and we may have a few strong to severe storms nearby but mostly across southeastern OK. The GFS continues to be faster and more northward compared to the EURO which is slower and more south. I continue to hedge toward the EURO but may offer a compromise blend to account for a nudge northward. I’ve had to raise the Tuesday high quite a bit from previous forecasts, but I don’t suppose anyone will complain too much.
Thanks for reading the Thursday Morning weather discussion and blog.
Have a super great day!