After one of the warmest winters on record, the month of March is also starting off with above normal temperatures and all indications are that will continue to be the case for at least several more weeks. Notice the 8-14 day outlook for example which has a strong signal suggesting temperatures will average above normal here in the Sooner state during that time frame.
In the short term, after a near normal start to our day today, temperatures this afternoon made it well above normal once again as you can see on the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Normals for this time of year in Tulsa are 58/36 for the max/min.
Today has also been another windy day which together with the low humidity levels this afternoon resulted in a very high fire danger situation. Notice the two maps showing the strongest winds of the day and also relative humidity levels as of earlier this afternoon.
Unfortunately, Thursday will not be much better as we will once again have strong and gusty winds together with low afternoon humidity levels. The difference is that the winds will be blowing from the NW behind a cool front that is pushing through the state this evening and overnight. By morning, our winds will be shifting from a southerly direction to the NW and the winds will quickly increase to 20-25 mph with higher gusts through the early afternoon, then subsiding by that evening. Thus, another fire danger day.
Although this is a windy system, it will not be a particularly wet system; at least not for most of us. There remains a slight chance of showers north of I-40 but all indications currently suggest the best chance will be along and south of I-40 for the overnight hours. There may even be some thunder with that activity, but it will be gone by sunrise leaving clearing skies for the rest of the day Thursday.
This system does not have any cold air to tap into so temperatures will not be impacted much as you can see on our forecast page. Daytime highs well into the 60s are once again expected for Thursday, and much above normal temperatures will prevail right on through the coming weekend and the following week.
For the Bassmaster Classic, the best days still look to be on Friday and Saturday with plenty of sunshine, southerly winds, very mild temperatures with highs in the 60s both days, and no mention of rain. Those southerly winds will also bring more moisture our way increasing the humidity levels and mitigating the fire danger at least somewhat, despite the fact the winds will still be rather gusty in the days ahead.
By Sunday, there will be a chance of showers and perhaps thunder as we will be entering a more active pattern that will continue well into next week. Current indications suggest a change in the storm track which will bring more clouds and better chances of showers/storms through the middle of next week. Cannot rule out the potential for severe weather during that time frame since temperatures will be so much warmer than normal. As you can see on the 7 day QPF map, there is the potential for some locally heavy rainfall amounts, but those rains really need to be located further west where it is more badly needed.
At any rate, the system responsible for this more active pattern is currently located well out in the Pacific Ocean, so its ultimate track/intensity is still very much subject to change and hopefully they will end up receiving some useful rainfall out west.
As mentioned above, the following 8 days look to see a continuation of our warmer than normal weather pattern along with a return to a more settled, drier pattern.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.