Wind And Fire Danger Issues Remain In Oklahoma

Wednesday, April 18th 2018, 3:51 am
By: Alan Crone

A cold front moved across far southeastern OK early this morning after crossing the metro around 3 a.m.  Strong northwest winds from 20 to 30 mph will remain likely today along with dry air moving back across the northern sections of the state. This will promote the fire spread rates slightly higher across NE OK compared to yesterday. 

Red Flag warning criteria will be close for some areas today along the northwestern I-44 region.  

Highs this afternoon will be expected in the upper 60s to lower 70s with sunshine yet breezy to windy conditions. Thursday has the potential to be a rather nice weather day after a chilly start with lows near the upper 30s and lower 40s and highs in the lower to mid-60s. A surface ridge of high pressure will build southward across eastern Kansas and brush far NE OK with light winds and sunshine. 

Friday morning, locations across far NE OK and SE Kansas may be near the freezing mark for a few hours.  The metro should stay in the upper 30s with some lower 40s across the I-40 corridor.  The ridge slides eastward as the next major upper level system will near the central and southern plains this weekend bringing rain and thunderstorm chances into the state.

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The timing of the system may still change, but our forecast continues to side with the slightly slower EURO. This means rain and storm chances will increase across western OK late Friday night into Saturday while slowly spreading eastward into the central and eastern sections by afternoon and evening. 

The position of the surface low is expected to remain south of our immediate area and this should keep the true warm sector also near or south of the Red River Valley for most of this event. This means the surface-based severe weather threats will remain away from our area. 

Highly unusual for the middle of April.  But no complaints here. The EURO does attempt to swing the surface low up into far SE OK Sunday morning. 

This incoming upper level system is still located about 2,500 miles away from the state and won’t be entering the western U.S. for a few more days.  The model data may change with the exact positioning of this strong upper level storm and this may change a few things with our weekend forecast, but the general trends remain intact.   

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QPF data suggests some pockets of moderate rainfall may occur for some locations Saturday evening across eastern OK.  The system may linger for a few hours Sunday morning near or east of the Tulsa metro with light rainfall before quickly exiting the state with north winds and highs reaching the upper 50s or lower 60s.  

The next system may not approach until the middle of next week with minimal rain or storm chances.

Have a super great day!

Alan Crone