The focus for several days now has been on an anticipated major storm system coming our way that will be settling into the Southern Rockies and then slowly moving out into the Plains as it gradually weakens. The latest/greatest data runs have not changed these expectations much as it still has the promise of being a significant weather maker, particularly for our more western neighbors which desperately need the moisture. Notice the drought monitor which was updated today and portions of NW OK are now in severe drought due to a lack of rainfall since the first of the year.
As you can see on the 7 day QPF, those same areas are still targeted for the most rainfall from the approaching system and that has been consistent for several days now. There are still some questions regarding timing and the exact placement of the heaviest rains as well as any severe threat, but those details should be coming into better focus with subsequent data runs.
Speaking of which, this next map shows the position of the storm system as of this morning and at approximately 18,000’ or what we usually refer to as the 500 mb level. As you can see it is making landfall in the Pacific NW so is entering our land based observational network which means we should have better data initialization which also implies better solutions with time.
With that in mind, this next map shows the solution valid Sunday evening which is very comparable to the solution presented in yesterday’s blog. That storm system is still expected to be in the general vicinity of the Four Corners area of the Southern Rockies by that time. Southerly winds at the surface and aloft will provide abundant moisture for that system to work with and thus the heavy rains that are anticipated.
As the week wears on, that system will only slowly move eastward and will be gradually weakening as shown in this next map valid Thursday morning. That suggests we will maintain lots of available moisture and therefore a continued chance of showers/storms through at least the middle of next week.
Again, the devil will be in the details regarding the exact placement of the heaviest rains and any severe threat. However, all current indications strongly suggest the potential for heavy rainfall will be more of a concern than a severe threat for our side of the state at least.
In the meantime, we will have some very pleasant weather for at least several more days as you can see on our forecast page. Light SE winds overnight tonight will result in a mild start to our day along with the potential for some patchy fog. Daytime temperatures Friday and Saturday will be impacted by partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies each day but we should be dry. Our chances for rain will start ramping up later on Sunday as widespread showers/storms move this way from the west with Sunday night and Monday looking like the wettest time frame here in E OK.
As mentioned, the slow movement and proximity of that upper level storm center will then maintain a rather unsettled pattern at least through the middle part of the week. Temperatures throughout this forecast period will be running above normal and that should continue for the following week as well.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates. It could get interesting later this weekend into next week.