Warm & Windy Friday-Enhanced Fire Danger.

Thursday, March 3rd 2016, 7:23 pm
By: News On 6

There were not very many of them, but the few showers/storms of last night still managed to drop a narrow corridor of locally heavy rainfall for some locations as you can see on the 24 hour rainfall map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.  


Those storms were in advance of a cold front that moved through during the early morning hours, but did not cool things off much.  Even though we had gusty NW winds for much of the day, temperatures were still well above normal as you can see on the max/min temperature map for this afternoon.


Those gusty NW winds will settle down tonight as high pressure moves across the state and then on east of us in the days ahead.  At the same time, a storm system will be developing to the west with falling pressure and that combination will provide for gusty southerly winds by the afternoon hours of Friday.  The clear skies and light winds tonight will result in a cold start with morning lows in the 30s, but lots of sunshine during the day together with the increasing southerly winds will push afternoon temperatures well into the 60s to near 70.  Those warm temperatures will also result in low humidity levels with a minimum relative humidity during the heat of the day dropping below 30%.  That together with the gusty southerly winds will result in another enhanced fire danger.

Another weak boundary will be moving into the state Saturday, but its main impact will be to lessen the winds with a more E to SE wind of only 5-10 mph for the most part.  We still expect to have lots of sunshine although the clouds will likely be on the increase by late in the day as the storm system out west begins to get better organized.  Also, as you can see on our forecast page, temperatures will continue well above normal.  Keep in mind, our normal diurnal temperature range at this time of year for Tulsa is 58/36 and gradually climbing.

Sunday will see a return to strong southerly winds which will bring more moisture back over the state producing more cloud cover and warmer morning temperatures.  There will also be a chance of a few showers but anything that falls currently looks to be rather light and isolated in nature.

So, that all adds up to some fine weather for the Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake over the coming days with above normal temperatures, no major weather pattern changes, and a mostly dry forecast.

However, the developing storm system mentioned above looks to be a trouble maker as we go into next week.  There continue to be some issues regarding its exact track/intensity/timing as the system is currently well out in the Pacific Ocean.  Notice the map where the large X on the left hand side shows the position of the system of interest in the N Pacific as of 6AM this morning and the large X on the right hand side shows the projected location for 6PM Tuesday.  A storm system taking such a southerly track is often poorly handled by the longer range guidance and there will likely be some significant changes in the days ahead.


But, given what we have to work with at this time, you can see that the Storm Prediction Center is projecting at least the possibility for some severe storms across our state on Monday.  We will carry a good chance of showers and storms for much of next week as the system will at the very least provide for a very unsettled pattern for the state along with the above normal temperatures that will likely persist.


Total precipitation could be very generous although the current 7 day QPF suggests we will be on the western fringe of the heavier rainfall.  Keep in mind though that any changes in the storm track could easily shift that zone of heavier rainfall further east or west.  Quite frankly, the folks out west are getting too dry too quick and could certainly use the rainfall. 


At any rate, stay tuned and check back for updates as we expect a very unsettled pattern for much of next week.

Dick Faurot