It turned out to be a wet Wednesday for much of Green Country as a weak mid-level storm system rolled across our state. The showers and clouds are breaking up now, but it was nice to see some April showers without April tornadoes (or any severe weather). It wasn’t a lot of rain, but it was appreciated as we have begun 2016 on a dry note. Tulsa is still running almost 3” behind for the year.
More rain is on the way, but we’ll have to wait for a slow-moving upper low pressure system to finally eject out of the southwest. We’ll be entering a blocking pattern in the jet stream, which slows the progress of any storm system over our region. Thus, we’ll be caught in some nice weather between now and early next week. A small warming trend will occur into the weekend with a few residual clouds hanging around Thursday and Friday. Much like Tuesday, with chamber-of-commerce-weather, Thursday will feature mild and rather calm conditions with some sunshine. Friday will be a bit windier, but nothing like what we’ve seen over the past few weeks.
The focus turns to the west this weekend as that upper low drives up Gulf moisture over the High Plains. This south-to-north flow in the jet stream steers rain and storms over the same locations out west, providing that drought-stricken area in the Panhandles with up to half a foot of rainfall by early next week. That area of active weather will slowly shift our way by Sunday into Monday. The system is now delayed by at least a day in our computer models as it tries to go up against that blocking pattern centered in the eastern U.S. Eventually that rain will arrive, but the severe weather parameters don’t look strong. That low pressure loses some oomph and starts to break down as it reaches us. It doesn’t draw in much unstable air at the surface. That leaves us with general rain and some thunder. A minor flood threat accompanies this pattern as heavy storms could train, taking a track over the same general area.
Above, the map shows how much rain our state may see through midweek next week. It’s a nice soaking for eastern Oklahoma, although nothing too unusual for this time of year. This could be a drought-buster for the parched lands in far western Oklahoma, however. Anytime I get to write about beneficial rains and little severe weather this time of year is a good thing! Even well into next week, the unsettled and wetter than normal pattern continues with little threat of severe weather (as shown in the outlook below).