Severe Storms Possible Tonight

Thursday, April 2nd 2015, 4:33 am
By: Alan Crone

A few showers or storms may brush the area this morning (pre-dawn) but most of the day should remain breezy and dry before the next strong cold front moves into the area later tonight.   There will be a window for a few strong to severe storms across part of northeastern OK this evening.  A layer of warm-air aloft (the cap) should remain across the eastern portions of the state for most of the day.   This may limit the storm development to later tonight, but some storms are expected across northeastern OK later this evening.  Expect mostly to partly cloudy conditions today with highs in the 80s along with gusty south winds at 15 to 30 mph.  

The northern stream system is nearing the area.   A surface low will develop across northern and central OK today with a dry-line feature extending southward from the low.  Most data support this dry-line moving to near I-35 by 5pm-7pm tonight.   The surface cold front will approach the area form the northwest later this evening and will be aligned from the southwest to northeast across the far northern sections of the state.   A layer of warm-air aloft around 5k ft. is expected to suppress most thunderstorm activity along the dry-line, but any storms that form would become severe with all modes of severe weather possible.   The upper air dynamics are not especially favorable for a large number of severe storms in our immediate area, but any storms that do form could be quite severe with all modes of severe weather possible.  The window of opportunity from 7pm tonight through 4am Friday will be watched closely with a surface low nearby and the boundary moving southeast.   

A few showers or storms may develop post-frontal into early Friday but would quickly move away from the region.   Gusty northeast winds will move across the area Friday with chilly daytime highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s.   Clearing conditions by Friday afternoon and evening may bring some mid to upper 30s into the area by Saturday morning.   A surface ridge of high pressure centered over the region may allow some patchy frost with morning low in the upper 30s Saturday in some of the valley locations of eastern OK.   Saturday afternoon will feature wonderful weather with sunshine, light southeast winds and highs in the mid-60s.   A quick return to stronger southeasterly winds late Saturday night into Sunday morning will result in Eastern Sunday lows in the mid to upper 40s and highs in the mid-60s with mostly cloudy conditions.   There will remain a chance for showers and storms Easter Sunday.   The higher coverage may occur across southeastern and east-central OK, but there will remain a chance for the Tulsa metro.  

Next week will feature a return to a southwesterly upper air flow across the southern plains.   This flow is normal for early spring, and is usually responsible for bringing storm systems across the state.   We'll have several systems next week to track including a surface boundary Monday into Tuesday that could bring a few storms to the region.   A stronger system nears the area late in the week with a surface area of low pressure developing to our southwest.   The exact placement of surface features combined with the trajectory and strength of the upper air flow will dictate the severe weather threat.   But climatology suggests some of the storms next week may be severe. 


Alan Crone