The good news: Our weekend looks nice. But we’ll be dealing with the threat for some severe thunderstorm activity for the next 36 to 48 hours as a strong upper level system to the west combines with rich low-level moisture in aiding thunderstorm development across the state.
We’re not expecting any storm activity this morning, yet a few small, spotty showers may develop across southeastern OK through the day as moisture continues to stream northward into the state.
A broad upper-air trough is located across the western U.S. this morning with strong winds rounding the basal portion of the system later this afternoon and tonight.
A surface area of low pressure is located across part of eastern Kansas and will move northeast later this evening with a dry line positioned across far western OK and western Kansas. A quasi-stationary boundary also will be draped across part of the central plains from near Kansas City into southwestern Kansas for most of the day.
A layer of warm air aloft (the CAP) is expected to hold for most of the day across eastern OK while storms attempt to develop later this afternoon near the dry line across far western OK. Storm coverage is expected to be rather sparse with this initial development later this afternoon off the dry-line but would have the potential to become severe including all modes of severe weather.
The greater threats would remain slightly west and northwest of the Tulsa metro, from North Central OK into the west central portion of the state for late afternoon into the early evening. Any discrete super cells that develop would produce very large hail, damaging winds and possibly a tornado.
Our first main window of concern will remain from approximately 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for locations near I-35 to west of Highway 75, and then from 9 p.m. through 1 a.m. for locations west of Highway 69, including the Tulsa metro.
If any super cells survive, they would move east of Highway 69 between midnight and 2 a.m.
Other storms, however, are likely to develop across southwestern OK or northern areas of Texas and move northeast late tonight into pre-dawn Thursday morning. As this process occurs, a strong low-level jet should develop and aid in the expansion of one or more clusters of storms (MCS) across part of Eastern OK, possibly northeastern OK. Despite the overnight or pre-dawn hours, the threat for severe weather would remain with large hail and damaging winds the primary concern.
If this 2nd area of storm activity develops, a very small threat for quasi-linear or bow echo tornadoes could be possible. These storms would spread across eastern OK during the early Thursday morning hours before gradually weakening around sunrise or shortly after. At first glance, it appears this timing would be from 3 a.m. to 9 a.m. for the eastern third of the state, including the Tulsa metro.
Additional storms would be possible Thursday early afternoon and evening as the dry line moves east and the surface front to our north begins surging southward across the state. The overall Thursday afternoon and evening severe weather threats will depend upon how the atmosphere responds during the recovery period between the morning storms and the potential afternoon development.
A large amount of Thursday morning storms may have the tendency to stabilize the air while a smaller coverage could allow for a greater instability for the area by later in the day. We will not know this variable until Thursday midday.
The true surface front will move across eastern OK early Friday from approximately 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. with a narrow line of showers and storms.
As the surface front finally clears the SE OK area prep-dawn Friday, storms will exit southeastern OK as dry air invades the northern sections of the state. Ridging should begin to influence the region Friday night through Saturday with pleasant conditions continuing through the weekend.
The GFS is now attempting to bring a front into northern OK Sunday night with a few showers or storms possible while the EURO keeps this boundary across southern Kansas before lifting northward. This seems to be the more realistic approach at this point. Basically, we think our next better chance for showers and storms may approach our area by the middle to end of next week.
Thanks for reading the Wednesday morning weather discussion and blog.
Please remain aware of your weather surroundings later tonight through late Thursday evening.