Eight; that is the total number of tornadoes that have been verified so far from the Tuesday severe weather event by the good folks at the NWS office. Two of those were in the OKC area and one just across the state line into Arkansas. They were all on the low end of the intensity scale with 7 rated EF-1 and one rated EF-0. This is all still rather preliminary and further investigation may yield some changes in intensity and numbers, but that is how things stand at this time. This map shows the tornadoes that have been verified so far here in E OK.
Another round of showers and storms will be moving across the state again Friday and some of those may be severe. This is a far different set-up from what we had on Tuesday though and the severe potential is very conditional. The cooler conditions of today are due to drier, cooler air in place behind a front that has gone stationary along the Red River. Very warm and humid air is in place just south of that boundary and the main question regarding our severe weather threat is the exact placement of the boundary on Friday.
The various numerical models that we utilize have widely varying solutions regarding the placement of that boundary and the warmer, more humid, and therefore more unstable air associated with it. With that boundary over far Southern OK and a strong storm system aloft moving out of the Southern Rockies during the day Friday, this combination will set the stage for widespread showers, storms, and potentially severe weather.
Showers will be spreading into the southern counties by first thing Friday morning with some embedded thunder and perhaps a localized wind/hail threat. As the day wears on, showers and storms are expected to become more widespread especially late in the day and overnight when the main system aloft moves eastward. The late afternoon and overnight hours will be the critical time regarding the severe threat and again the magnitude of the threat will depend to a large extent on exactly where the aforementioned frontal boundary is located. If it should move further north than currently projected that would move the warm sector further north and the boundary itself would also be a favored location for severe storms due to the enhanced shear in that vicinity.
Based on current data, will keep the boundary much further south which means temperatures will be in the 50s tonight and low-mid 70s for Friday with the cloudy skies, widespread showers and thunder, and brisk easterly surface winds. The showers and storms will be ending from the west by early Saturday morning with another frontal boundary arriving later in the day. That will shift our winds to a more NW direction on Saturday which along with some afternoon sunshine should push daytime temperatures close to 80. There will still be a chance on Saturday for storms, but they should be confined to the far E counties.
Northerly winds and partly cloudy skies will make for a cool, pleasant Sunday but another system will be spreading clouds and showers our way for early next week as you can see on our forecast page. Since there is a chance of additional rainfall early next week, will utilize the 7 day QPF map to show the widespread nature of what will be a very wet system affecting a large part of the country in the days ahead.
After that, it looks like the weather will settle down at least somewhat for the rest of the week and into that following weekend as you can see on the 8-4 day outlooks.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.