Bitterly Cold Temperatures For Eastern OK

Tuesday, January 16th 2018, 3:56 am
By: Alan Crone

The arctic air has moved southward into the Lone Star state this morning with a very cold air mass firmly entrenched across Oklahoma. Winter precipitation has been ongoing overnight across part of Texas with winter storm warnings extending southward to Houston.

Overnight, clouds have been clearing across northern OK including the Tulsa metro. Winds have remained in the 10 to 20 mph range overnight but will drop down a notch or two in the next few hours and will produce wind chill values from -10 to -20 this morning before wind chills move closer to near zero by midday and possibly into the single digits this afternoon.

A wind chill advisory remains through the morning to midday for a large portion of Eastern OK. Actual temps have dropped into the single digits with afternoon highs expected into the upper teens north and lower 20s southern sections.

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A surface ridge of high pressure will settle near the area later tonight into Wednesday morning bringing light winds and clear sky for our area. This will allow temps to bottom out in the lower single digits near the metro and, more than likely, subzero over the snow pack areas of northeastern OK and southeastern Kansas.

Wednesday afternoon highs will reach the upper 20s north and lower 30s south with sunshine and an eventual return to south winds by the afternoon around 10 mph.

The pattern will be changing for the middle to the end of the week with another major warm-up anticipated for the region. Temps will be slow to warm at first.

Thursday morning will start in the mid to upper teens yet the afternoon highs should reach the mid or upper 40s along with gusty south winds.

The next upper-level system will be nearing the region by this weekend.

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In response, the surface pressure will deepen greatly Friday into Saturday with south winds increasing speeds from 20 to 35 mph but temps are expected to also respond with morning lows in the 40s and highs Friday in the 50s and reaching the 60s Saturday.

Saturday night into Sunday the next system will move across the state bringing a chance for a few showers or even some thunderstorms with Sunday morning to midday temps reaching the lower 60s. The data this morning suggest the frontal passage may not occur until later Sunday afternoon or early evening with temps dropping later in the evening.

Monday morning low should start around the lower 30s but may rebound into the lower 50s. The “pattern recognition” supports the potential for severe weather along and ahead of this system for part of the country.

Due to the current intrusion of cold air well southward, the moisture return from the Gulf will be hampered.

At this point, it appears east TX and southwestern Arkansas eastward would be in the running for a few strong to severe storms. Depending upon the exact timing of the system, the better chances for showers or storms Sunday may end up slightly east to southeast of the metro.

We still have several days to go, but some changes to the Sunday pops will be possible.

In summary, very cold air will remain today and tonight. Wind chill advisories will remain for the morning to midday hours with readings from -10 to 20.

Bundle up!

Alan Crone