To say this is an unusual weather pattern is an understatement. This first map is an attempt to illustrate just how weird our weather currently is, and not just in OK but for much of N. America. It is showing a weather map as analyzed this morning approximately 18,000’ above sea level. The feature in Central Mexico is a low pressure system and the colors on the map represent the departure from normal; blue=below normal or colder at that level, reds=above normal or warmer at that level. Needless to say, it is extremely unusual for a system to be that strong and cold that far south at this time of year; or any time of year for that matter. In fact it has produced some snowfall deep into Mexico while record high temperatures are occurring as far north as the Great Lakes today.
Also, the circulation around that system is pumping lots of moisture from the tropics well northward where the normal westerly winds then spread it on eastward. That is why we are on the western fringe of the heavier rains that are expected in the days ahead as you can see on the 7 day QPF map.
Eventually, that storm system in Mexico will be ejected and given its unusual location there is considerable uncertainty regarding its ultimate track/timing/intensity in the days ahead. As you can see on our forecast page, we have extended the chances of rain into the day Sunday due to the unusual circumstances regarding this feature.
Bottom line is that the deeper moisture and therefore the heavier rains will likely stay east of most of the state, but we are close enough to keep mostly cloudy to overcast skies and occasional periods of rain and perhaps some thunder. The most recent data runs currently suggest the system will provide the best chance of rain for us Friday into the day Saturday, tapering off on Sunday. Most of the rains tomorrow should again be confined to the far E & SE counties.
That is where the rains were largely confined to today as you can see on the rainfall map for the day, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. More widespread rains will then prevail for Friday into Saturday, but once again the far western counties will likely miss out or only receive light amounts. From the 3 day rainfall totals you can see they have remained high and dry so far and they desperately need moisture.
Since we are on the backside of the main system, that will also keep us with a NE wind through Friday, but the lack of any cold air nearby will still keep us above normal. Also, the clouds will prevent any extremes.
Once the system finally ejects, we will have more sunshine, our winds will return to a more southerly direction, and temperatures will soar. That is what is anticipated as we head into early next week with some definite Spring-like weather just in time for Spring break. Another system will arrive by the middle of the week bringing a cool-down heading into the following weekend. Notice the 8-14 day temperature outlook, which would include that following weekend, suggests temperatures averaging near normal over that time frame. Given how much warmer than normal we have been so far this month, that does represent a bit of a cool-down.
At any rate, stay tuned and check back for updates.