EASTERN OKLAHOMA – Our Oklahoma weather experts have been pouring over the data and there are some exciting things coming up for sure. This year has been fairly crazy across Oklahoma. In just the month of May, we had the most tornadoes ever recorded. When it comes to flooding, it is unbelievable how much water fell in the spring. It was the 7th wettest year on record. We also just had the 6th earliest snowfall on record as well.
Keys To The Forecast
We are watching to see how much snow has fallen already in the Arctic circles and areas to the North in Canada and Siberia. This year we do have more of a snow cover, which leads to better chances of very cold weather. Neither the arctic air or ice is bad yet, but that is changing. The biggest thing we look for is how the jet stream is going to act. It has to interact with all the warm temperatures that are on the sea surface, which drives our weather across the Northern Hemisphere. Last year, we were in an El Nino phase. During the course of the summer and fall, we've gone into what we call a neutral phase. That is expected to continue into the spring.
We're going to be watching the jet streams really closely as we go through the next several months. There is a northern branch and a southern branch. The northern one is more of a polar jet stream. It can bring in some cold Arctic air, similar to what we went through earlier this week. Also, down to the South and West, storm systems occasionally dig deep and when they come across the area, that gives us a better chance for moisture. When those two collide, we're in for ice storms and snowstorms. That hasn't happened over the last several years. In fact, back to 2011, that was the last time we had decent snow.
Winter Weather Pattern
We're calling for warmer than normal temperatures. Sharply colder in late December, extreme fluctuation in January and milder in February. As far as precipitation, we expect it to be wetter than normal in December, normal in January and drier through February. Snowfall totals should be near normal, which again, is more than we saw in 2018. Our best chances to build a snowman is in December and January.