Mighty nice day today with below normal temperatures, light winds, and fair skies this morning followed by near normal temperatures, light winds, and lots of sunshine this afternoon.
That will change on Wednesday as a weak disturbance aloft moves over the state bringing more cloud cover and the possibility of a few light showers. In fact, the clouds will be on the increase overnight tonight and there will be a chance of some sprinkles by first thing in the morning. Those clouds will also keep temperatures from bottoming out with morning lows near 50 but the clouds will also keep daytime temperatures generally in the 60s. The very dry air currently in place near the surface will limit any showers or light rain to just that, very light rain or sprinkles for the most part. Best chances of getting wet on Wednesday will be along and south of I-40 with the chances decreasing to nearly nothing along the OK/KS state line.
As you can see on our forecast page, that system will be moving on eastward leaving us with dry conditions for Thu/Fri and perhaps even through the day Saturday. Also, our winds will be very light for a couple of more days with a relatively light SE wind for Wed & Thu, becoming a little stronger for Friday. The SE component of the winds will help keep daytime temperatures in check, but we will still be at or above normal through that period. Since the normal diurnal range at this time of year is 71/48, that translates into morning lows generally in the 50s and daytime highs in the low-mid 70s.
A major storm system aloft will be setting up in the Southern Rockies over the course of the weekend and the timing, track, and intensity of that system is still in question. Notice the upper level analysis around Noon today at approximately the 18,000’ level. The system currently out in the N Pacific labeled Weekend System is the one that is projected to drop into the Southern Rockies, amplify, and move only very slowly eastward from there for Sat-Mon. Given the fact that it is currently way out in the Pacific is a concern as it has not been well sampled by our observational network and there are lots of possibilities.
Having said that, the longer range guidance has consistently shown it to be a major rainmaker as you can also see on the 7 day QPF map. Yesterday’s QPF was similar in showing widespread, heavy rains across much of the Southern Plains.
Again, the fact that this will be a significant storm system seems very likely at this point, but as always the devil will be in the details and the timing is one of those details that has yet to be settled. More than likely, we still stay dry on this side of the state Saturday with widespread storms confined to the far western counties of OK. That activity will move rather slowly eastward or redevelop closer to our side of the state on Sunday and that process may well be repeated on Monday and perhaps even Tuesday if the system should move more slowly than currently projected. Locally heavy rainfall will be one concern, but severe weather will also be a possibility.
The unsettled pattern may last through the rest of next week as well as the 6-10 day outlook keeps us with a wet signal along with temperatures running near to above normal for that time frame.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates. It could get interesting later this weekend into next week.