It felt like a weekend out of December. We woke up Saturday to snow on the ground (and an earthquake) with record low temperatures. Wind chill values dipped into the teens and even single digits in part of the area (see below). Those temperatures dipped below freezing area-wide again Sunday morning as well. Hopefully you haven’t planted anything too early because this weekend might have done that vegetation in.
Balmy weather in comparison lies ahead. The late-season Arctic air is slowly receding over the next few days. Until we lose the dry air, near-freezing conditions are still possible at night. For the Tulsa area, a frost is possible both early Monday and Tuesday mornings. After south winds return Tuesday afternoon, it’ll really start to feel like spring.
Those south winds will be howling for the second half of the week as shown above. We could see gusts over 40mph, bringing back at least some Gulf moisture ahead of our next storm system. That combined with a ridge in the jet streak will usher in significantly warmer air. We’re talking 80s by Thursday and possibly Friday. We’ve only topped 80° once so far this year and it was strangely almost two months ago! We are green enough in Green Country to limit that fire danger with the strong winds, but out in western Oklahoma, they are still dry as ever and the risk carries on. Below is the overall set-up late this week.
Depending on how the next storm system evolves, we may end up with a threat of strong to severe thunderstorms by Friday. The timing and orientation of the fronts are key to the level of that threat and the latest trends keep it low for our immediate area. Although it looks like the Arklatex region may be targeted again, any westward or slower shift could put Green Country in line for hail, high winds, flash flooding and even a few tornadoes. That is more familiar kind of spring weather for Oklahoma.
The temperature see-saw continues into next weekend. Temperatures will take another dip behind the cold front, sending those readings down to near freezing possibly Saturday night. If you want to safely plant your garden, you might just have to wait until that next cool spell ends early next week. For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page.
Severe weather season is off to a slower start for us this year. Oklahoma has gone more than 165 days with a tornado. California, Ohio and even Pennsylvania have recorded twisters this year. We don’t really get into a consistent severe weather pattern usually until the second half of April and the longer range outlook calls for a slightly wetter/more active pattern starting next week. Aside from storm enthusiasts, I don’t think many will mind the lack of severe weather. It certainly has been goofy as it is and we fully expect to see our odds of big storms ramping up in the coming weeks.