We made it through our severe weather event Sunday evening largely unscathed. However, the active pattern continues with a large storm system already bearing down on parts of the state as I write. It’s a complicated set-up for Green Country. What we do expect are multiple rounds of strong to severe thunderstorms between tonight and Wednesday night, heavy amounts of rain for a large swath of the area, and the potential for a few tornadoes in the area Wednesday.
Tonight after dark, our first round will form just to our west and approach our viewing area. The storms will be elevated, meaning they will draw their energy from above the surface layer of the atmosphere. This would initially cut off any tornado potential as the unstable air needs to be rooted at the surface for a funnel to reach the ground. However, these storms rolling in (likely as a broken line or cluster) could produce some large hail and perhaps a few instances of strong winds. Given the south-to-north steering current, we’d likely see only slow eastward progress, putting areas east of Tulsa out of the mix until Wednesday morning.
Our second round will likely push into eastern Oklahoma as a squall line on Wednesday morning from storms forming this evening in west Texas. Aside from the heavy rain potential, high winds, hail and even a brief tornado are possible. This could affect that Tuesday morning commute from Tulsa southward. Below is the risk area for severe storms through early morning Wednesday.
We’ll likely see a break in the action at some point on Wednesday although the timing of these waves is a bit muddled given disagreement among our computer models. Up through tomorrow morning, most of these storms will be along or north of the warm front, which keeps them elevated. However, that warm front may lift far enough north during the day Wednesday for greater destabilization of the atmosphere, allowing for more of a classic severe weather set-up for the afternoon hours. The focus for storms by Wednesday afternoon would be along a cold front pushing into eastern Oklahoma. Depending on the timing, areas west of Tulsa and Highway 75 could miss out if the front slides east before the next broken line of storms forms. Once those storms form though, they’d have all necessary ingredients for large hail, damaging winds and a few tornadoes. The highest threat will be southeast of Tulsa closer to the Arkansas line. Still, people in the Tulsa metro area need to be weather aware by early afternoon. These storms should quickly strengthen and become supercells with some tornado potential. That warm front extending eastward could provide extra rotation for any storms along it. Below is the risk area for severe storms through late Wednesday.
And if all those storm chances don’t pan out for your location, you still have one more opportunity with this same system Wednesday night as the center of the upper level low pivots over our area. This could create another risk of scattered storms with large hail. As this storm system finally pushes east of us on Thursday, any remaining showers or storms will gradually taper off leaving us with cool, mostly cloudy conditions.
Needless to say, the next 24-36 hours will be quite active. In summary, storms tonight will be loud and potentially clunky (hail possible), but the greatest threat will hold off until midday or afternoon on Wednesday. Beneficial rain will fall and put a dent in our drought. Below are projected storm totals from one of our computer models.
Another storm system will arrive Saturday with a renewed chance of rain and storms. The details aren’t quite ironed out yet, but there appears to be a severe storm potential with this as well over the weekend. Several days with several rounds of rain and storms will accompany this multi-faceted system as well. By early next week, a quieter pattern will take hold with a brief break in this conveyer belt of storm systems. It certainly is an eventful beginning to our severe weather season! For more weather updates, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook Page.