The widespread rains that moved across the area during the day today dropped just over an inch of rain at the official Tulsa measuring site out at the airport. I mention that because the last time we officially had as much as an inch of rain in a calendar day was during the flooding rains following Christmas of last year. In other words, we have been relatively dry since that event as both Jan and Feb recorded only around ½” of rain for each of those months. As mentioned, the rains have been widespread as you can see on the 24 hour rainfall total map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.
Unfortunately, the far NW counties largely missed out and those are the locations that need the rain very badly as abnormally dry conditions so far this year will lead to drought for those locations if they do not get some moisture soon.
An unsettled pattern will persist going into the weekend keeping us with daily chances of rain, showers, and perhaps even some thunder as you can see on our forecast page. Our chances of severe weather are minimal so that is not expected to be an issue, but there remains the possibility for some locally heavy rains in the days ahead, particularly for the far eastern counties. In other words, the locations that need it the most will receive the least as you can see on the 7 day QPF map. That could produce some additional flooding concerns over the next few days. As we head into early next week, any chance of rain should have ended.
The rain and cloudy skies produced a very short thermometer today and that will continue to be the case going into the weekend. As our winds shift to a more NE to N direction tonight, somewhat drier and cooler air will prevail, but temperatures will still be running well above normal. The normal max/min for Tulsa on this date is 60/38 but today we recorded 63/58.
Cloudy skies will be the general rule going into the weekend so despite the more northerly surface winds in the days ahead, our nights will still be 10-15 degrees above normal and our days generally holding in the 60s. By the time the weekend rolls around, the storm system responsible for this unsettled weather will finally be lifting out with lower chances of showers on Saturday, and ending or having ended by Sunday, followed by sunshine going into early next week. Also, a return to southerly winds along with the sunshine will result in much warmer conditions as we head into next week.
So, the weather for the early part of Spring break week looks to be warm and dry, but do not expect it to stay that way. As you can see on the 8-14 day outlooks, warmer than normal temperatures will be the general rule for the rest of next week, but there will also be additional chances of unsettled weather returning later in the week as well. After all, it is Spring-time in Oklahoma.
By the way, the extremely mild winter we just experienced and the extremely warm start to spring has much of the vegetation starting to green up. Keep in mind our normal last freeze date is Mar 29, but all indications currently suggest we have more than likely already seen our last freeze for the season. More about that in the days ahead.
At any rate, stay tuned and check back for updates.