We are at the peak of fall colors and often at the peak of pleasant fall weather in Green Country in this window of time as well. We’ve enjoyed dry, mild days and cool, crisp nights to start the week, but it is about to turn much wetter and colder in the days to come.
Our first round of wet weather comes late Tuesday night as moisture funnels northward across eastern Oklahoma. Drizzle and light showers are about all that we’ll deal with overnight into Wednesday morning. The rise in moisture levels will keep temperatures warmer into our Wednesday. It will be our final day in the 60s until the weekend. We’ll hit those readings despite a lack of sunshine in the day to come. From mid-morning through the afternoon, only spotty showers are expected. As you see below, our rain chances will rise dramatically later in the day.
Wednesday night is when it turns Wet… with a capital W. A strong cold front arriving from the north will slide beneath a band of upper-level energy. That combination will create widespread heavy rainfall and a few thunderstorms. Some of the heavy bands will move over the same locations, creating a flooding threat, especially along the I-40 corridor where upwards of 4” may fall as you see below. Even around Tulsa, a few inches could cause short-term run-off issues and water-covered spots on low-lying roads. Several rivers like the Illinois and Poteau are also at risk of rising out of their banks again by the end of the week. This wet spell will likely keep 2019 in the running for the top 5 wettest years on record for Tulsa.
As the heaviest of the rain comes down, that strong cold front will be slicing into the area. Strong north winds will cause temperatures to quickly tumble from the 60s Wednesday evening to the lower 40s by Thursday morning. Wind chill values may drop down to near 30°. As the rain tapers off on Thursday, our temperatures are likely to go nowhere. We’ll be stuck in the 40s with it feeling like the 30s all day before we see those readings fall again that night down into hard-freeze territory. This will be the coldest air of the season so far.
This first cold spell is short, thankfully, but will be a preview of the colder air returning from the Arctic by Sunday evening. That means, Saturday will be another wonderful, sunny day to spend outdoors as temperatures warm briefly back into the 60s. By Sunday, we may be digging out the coats again could as it will likely be getting quite cold. That cold front will be starved of moisture so at least that cool-down will come without a risk of flooding. Our friends into Kansas and Missouri may actually get some snowflakes out of that Sunday system though!
As we move into mid-November, the colder pattern should hang around. A stubborn and deep trough in the jet stream opens up the eastern half of the country to cold waves from Canada through the course of the next few weeks as shown above. In Oklahoma, we may just get the glancing blows, allowing for big fluctuations in temperature. Overall though, our temperatures will trend colder than average through November 19th as shown below.
Your take-away? Break out the rain gear for Wednesday and Thursday. Find the cold-weather gear for the end of the week and much of the next. Stay dry and warm! For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.