Rainfall across the state has once again been confined to the more SE counties and the amounts have so far been rather light as you can see on the rainfall map through this evening, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. That makes 5 straight days with rain in the general area and the totals have been rather generous, particularly for the more SE counties. Notice the second map which also shows the western counties are still pretty much high and dry and they need it the most.
And, it is not over yet as we will have additional chances of rain through the weekend before the pattern stabilizes going into next week. The upper level storm system that has been stalled out in Mexico for much of the past week is finally making a move and is ejecting to the NE. The wrap-around moisture will keep us cloudy with chances of rain and showers again on Saturday followed by another chunk of energy aloft that will be moving overhead on Sunday which could produce some decent storms before the day is over. Any storms would be primarily over the more eastern counties Sunday, and some may be locally quite heavy. Notice the 3 day QPF map which keeps the heavier rains well east of us and unfortunately, has the least rain where it is needed the most for the more western counties of our state.
A much more settled pattern will be the general rule in the week ahead with little or no precipitation until possibly Friday or Saturday, and even then the chances look to be small.
Temperatures will remain much above normal for this time of year with morning lows in the 50s and daytime highs in the 60s to near 70 through the weekend. To put those numbers in perspective, the normal max/min for this time of year is 61/39.
As you can see on our forecast page, the sun will finally break out for Mon/Tue and temperatures will be very Spring-like. Monday looks to be the warmest day of this forecast cycle with highs likely to reach or exceed 80. A frontal boundary will arrive during the day Tuesday, but there is no cold air nearby so it will still be much warmer than normal even after the winds shift to the NW.
But, this will mark a pattern change as cooler air will finally make a return to the Sooner state in the following days and temperatures will actually be closer to normal for the rest of the week going into the following weekend. We may even see some below normal temperatures for the first time this month. So far, the month of March is running nearly 9 degrees above normal.
That is very evident looking outside as the vegetation is really taking off. As a reminder, Mar 29 is our normal last freeze date for the immediate Tulsa area; surrounding areas will vary from that by a few days but that is a general benchmark. I mention that because we may yet see another freeze. The way things stand right now, our last freeze was back on Feb 26 and if that holds it will shatter the previous record for earliest last freeze of the season which was tied just last year on Mar 6.
Having said that, the longer range guidance does keep a cooler signal over the state for the 8-14 day time frame, but that does not necessarily mean we will have a freeze. However, a frost is certainly not out of the question. As for additional precipitation, there is still a weak signal suggesting more showers during that 8-14 day period as well.
At any rate, stay tuned and check back for updates.