Strong south winds will once again roll across northeastern Oklahoma with highs back into the upper 70s to lower 80s ahead of a strong storm system that will bring thunderstorm chances back to eastern Oklahoma Friday. Some of the storms may be strong to severe with the far eastern sections of the state having the better chance of thunderstorms. While a few storms may develop early Friday morning near or south of the metro, the better time will be midday to afternoon for initial development along or ahead of a dry line that will be located near the I-35 corridor region by noon to 2 pm. Not all locations will experience thunderstorm activity Friday due to the expected sparse and scattered nature. Significant shear combined with increasing low-level moisture will result in a few scattered super cells Friday afternoon with all modes of severe weather possible. Storms are expected to exit the state later Friday evening with much colder weather returning across northeastern Oklahoma this weekend. Daytime highs are expected in the lower 50s with Saturday morning lows in the lower 40s and near freezing both Sunday and Monday mornings. Another fast-moving system will arrive Tuesday night into Wednesday with little to no moisture availability. A strong system should be nearing the state by late next week with additional thunderstorm chances.
Strong south winds will remain again today with gusts near 35 to 40 mph and this should prompt another wind advisory for part of the region along with the increasing fire spread potential due to the winds. Increasing local dews later today will support relative humidity in the 40 to 50% range this afternoon which will keep us out of the Red Flag Warning criteria for eastern Oklahoma, yet fire danger issues will remain. Locations across far western Oklahoma will be behind the dry line today and tomorrow with extremely low Rh and temps in the mid to upper 90s. The fire danger across the western part of the state both today and tomorrow will be near critically high levels.
Model data continues to paint some hefty severe parameters coming into place for Friday afternoon and evening, but mostly across the eastern Oklahoma-western Arkansas state line region. Individual outputs from some of the convective allowing models this morning are hinting at weakening capping inversion still nearby Friday midday to afternoon that may limit the coverage of thunderstorm activity during the initial development stage by midday to afternoon. While some early morning showers and storms will be possible, these will more than likely remain elevated in nature. As the system progresses more to the east, the coverage should increase, more so across the state line into Arkansas and the ArkLaTex regions. Surface based storms would become more likely by midday to early afternoon east of the metro into far eastern Oklahoma. Yet, surface winds ahead of the dry line are not exactly backing into the system which may also initially limit convergence during the initial phase of development. Bottom line: while the individual models are not suggesting a large coverage of storms, any storms that do form and become mature would have the potential for all modes of severe weather. Storms will eventually become more linear in nature Friday night late well east of our areas of concern.
Colder (cooler) air will roll into the state under the departing upper level system with a return to some jacket-coat weather for folks this weekend. Temps will be near freezing Sunday and Monday morning across part of northeastern Oklahoma with highs Saturday in the upper 40s to lower 50s and the mid-50s Sunday. Our next front moves quickly across the state Tuesday night into Wednesday, yet low level moisture will remain too far south of the state to support any real chance for showers or storms. The next system late next week into next weekend will more than likely be our next weather maker.
Thanks for reading the Thursday morning weather discussion and blog.