Quite a range in temperatures for today, with the fair skies and dry air in place allowing for a cool start to our day, and the sunshine and southerly breezes making for a nice warm-up this afternoon; the max/min temperature map, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, shows most of us started the day slightly below normal but ended the day about 10 degrees or so above normal.
Those southerly breezes will also result in warmer nights for the next several days, as well as bring more moisture our way. At the same time, a disturbance aloft located near the Baja Peninsula will be moving eastward spreading more high level cloud cover over the state.
The cloud cover will contribute to keeping our nights warmer, but the clouds are also creating a forecast challenge for our daytime highs. At this time of year, it does not take much sunshine for temperatures to warm up quickly, but at the same time the optical thickness and the elevation of the cloud deck can keep the sun from doing that very thing.
As you can see on our forecast page, have opted to keep our daytime highs around the 80 degree mark in spite of the much warmer nights we will also have over the next few days. Light southerly winds on Tuesday will become rather strong and gusty for Wednesday and Thursday helping to bring more low level moisture over the state and also keeping things from cooling off much at night.
Although nothing particularly well organized is currently anticipated, the moisture build-up together with the weak disturbance aloft should be just enough to produce at least a slight chance of showers and possibly some storms in the days ahead as well. Most of what happens for Tuesday is expected to be along or south of I-40 with somewhat better chances area-wide for the Wed-Thu time frame. In fact, a fairly strong cool front looks to be moving across the state Thursday night and may cause a few severe storms.
Gusty northerly winds following that boundary will produce significantly cooler weather for Friday and into the Easter weekend. In fact, it now appears that we should have clear skies and light winds in place for Saturday morning along with the cooler, drier surface air behind the cold front. That may produce some frost for the Saturday morning time frame, particularly in the cooler valleys.
By the way, notice the graphic which depicts the pertinent freeze information for Tulsa and you can see that we have had a freeze as late as early May in years gone by.
A return to southerly winds will start to warm things back up again for Easter Sunday, but moisture will also be returning so there may be a few isolated showers late in the day.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.