After a gorgeous and balmy Easter weekend, we are facing a long-duration storm system that will limit our sunshine and bring waves of rain and storms to the region. While the severe weather threat remains low, there are other concerns with this pattern starting tonight.
The culprit for the cloudy week ahead is a low pressure centered over Arizona and just drifting eastward. In the southern Plains, we have moist flow from the Gulf of Mexico at the surface and Pacific moisture arriving from the west. The first round of rain is occurring this evening along the cold front where showers and isolated storms may form along the cold front extending into northeast Oklahoma this evening, but nothing too heavy or sustained is expected. The heaviest batch of rain is forming tonight in the Texas Panhandle, expanding into southwest Oklahoma with a risk of severe storms. That will gradually lift north of the front into northern Oklahoma overnight into Tuesday morning, giving the Tulsa area its best shot of rain for the week. By the time the activity reaches us, severe weather is not expected. Heavy downpours are likely, however, which could lead to a messy Tuesday commute.
Tuesday will be wet with periods of rain through at least midday for areas north of I-40 as the rain zone shows above. An inch or two may fall and ponding on roadways may readily occur with high levels of soil moisture in place. A lull in the activity will take place Tuesday afternoon, but that night, another round arrives. This time, the focus for rain and storms will be in southeast Oklahoma near the stalled out frontal boundary. Some of it could lift north toward Tulsa, but it looks intermittent at best for northern parts of the area. That trend carries on into Wednesday. The cloud cover will be stubborn, but much of the rain will hold off until a final round arrives with the main upper level low Wednesday night. Again, southeast Oklahoma has the biggest threat here of additional rain. All of this should wrap up Thursday with a gradual clearing trend from west to east. Below is the overall rain chance timeline for the Tulsa area through midweek.
The obvious thing missing in this forecast break-down is severe weather. The storm system is tracking far enough south to keep the unstable air mass locked into Texas. Despite that, repeated rounds of heavy rainfall could lead to some minor flooding over a few undetermined sections of the area. Projected rainfall amounts below show that a good soaking of rain is likely.
Once this storm system finally drifts east, it appears we are in for a relatively tranquil end to the month. The jet stream shifts north and sends the main storm track away from us over the weekend. That pattern will warm us up significantly after our midweek cool spell. While a frontal boundary may sag far enough south to bring a few isolated storms our way this weekend, it appears the bulk of active weather holds off until we transition to May when a deeper system arrives. Overall, severe weather season is starting off without too much fanfare.
May is our biggest month for severe weather, but the outlook for the first week does not look too foreboding. It appears a bit drier than normal for Green Country with a storm track that does not favor much severe weather other than an occasional bout of general rainfall. What appears more likely is for warmer conditions. That means the May “Muggies” are just around the corner. Enjoy the cool, wet weather while we have it this week! For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page!