It has been another beautiful day across the state as you can see on the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Once again, temperatures have been well above normal which continues a trend we have experienced all month long. That is about to come to an end though as you can see on our forecast page.
The sunny skies this afternoon will give way to increasing cloud cover overnight and with light easterly winds, look for temperatures to start the day Friday in the 40s. A stronger cold front will move through the state during the morning hours shifting our winds back to the N/NE. By afternoon, those winds will be gusting over 20 mph bringing much cooler air with it. In fact, temperatures should make it into the lower 50s around the Noon hour before those winds really start cranking up and then fall back into the 40s for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.
Along with the cooler air and the clouds will come some occasional light rain or showers, emphasis on light. Notice the 2 day QPF for example which suggests less than ¼” for most locations, if even that much. Unfortunately, the more NW counties and into W OK will receive little if any at all and they really need it. As you can see, it has been a long time since they have even received as much as ¼” of rain this year.
Clearing skies behind this system will leave us with lots of sunshine for the coming weekend and for the official start of Spring, at least according to the calendar, at 11:30 Saturday night. Ironically, we will also have the potential for a frost/freeze as a freeze watch has been issued by the good folks at the NWS office here in Tulsa. Similar conditions are likely again Sunday morning as temperatures will be flirting with the freezing mark both mornings. At any rate, the protected valleys will likely see a freeze or close to it both Sat & Sun mornings, and that may well include the urban environment as well.
Despite lots of sunshine both days, northerly winds will keep our daytime highs in the 50s both Saturday and Sunday. Together with those colder nights this means the coolest days of the entire month will coincide with the start of Spring.
After that, early next week will see a significant warm-up with gusty southerly winds returning and much warmer temperatures. The gusty winds will also bring fire danger back into the picture, unfortunately.
Another cold front, and what may turn out to be a rather strong storm system now looks to be taking aim at the state along about Thursday or Friday of next week. The longer range guidance is certainly trending towards a very strong system by then, although the exact timing and track are still uncertain. However, current trends certainly favor a cooler, potentially very wet period for that time frame. If so, that would be followed by a more settled pattern going into Easter weekend, but that is certainly subject to change with later data runs.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.