For much of this winter we have been on the western fringe of the coldest air, and that continues to be the case again today.
Notice the first map, which shows the departure from normal temperatures around the country as of early this afternoon. As you can see, we are colder than normal but not nearly so much as locations further east of us.
That trend will likely continue for the next two weeks with the coldest air sloshing further west from time to time and basically keeping us below normal to finish out the month of February and going into the month of March.
Notice the 8-14 day outlook map for example which keeps us chilly, but the real brunt of the cold air continues to be just east of us.
As mentioned though, that colder air will slosh back this way from time to time and that will make for some potentially interesting weather in the days ahead.
As you can see on the max/min temperature map for today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet, this has certainly been a cold day for NE OK, but a relatively mild one for the SW corner of the state.
Since we did not warm up much today, tonight will be another cold one with light easterly winds, fair to partly cloudy skies and temperatures dropping into the teens.
Thursday should have a little more sunshine, but a gusty SE wind will still make it feel rather cold despite somewhat of a rebound.
The easterly component to the winds is not a warm component for us, so after the cold start, temperatures will struggle to make it into the lower 40s; keep in mind mid 50s is normal for this time of year.
Also, clouds will be on the increase late in the day.
Friday could be interesting first thing in the morning as temperatures for some locations will start off near freezing, but we will also have a low overcast by then.
The data suggests the lower levels of the atmosphere will be near saturation, which implies the potential for some drizzle, and that in turn could lead to some light freezing drizzle for some locations. This is a very remote possibility but nonetheless is something to be aware of.
As we go through the rest of the day, temperatures will struggle once again due to the overcast skies and the SE wind component, so we expect to only make it into the 40s that afternoon.
Gusty southerly winds, drizzle and low stratus clouds will persist all that night, so temperatures will likely hold steady or perhaps even warm some by Saturday morning.
Then, a stronger storm system is taking aim at the state and creates considerable uncertainty regarding temperatures during the day. One of the model solutions keeps the surface low and the warm sector south of I-40, which would imply NE OK would be barely above freezing all day along with a very cold rain.
However, the consensus solutions have the warm sector further north and do not bring the cold air back over us till that afternoon. We would still have a cold rain, but temperatures would be in the 40s or even low 50s before the colder air surges back southward.
As you can see on our forecast page, we are trending the forecast towards the warmer solution, but just be aware of the huge bust potential and low confidence level for Saturday. About the only given is that it will be wet.
Then, that cold air that has been east of us will come directly over us for Sun/Mon with temperatures struggling to get above freezing both days. Some lingering wintry precipitation in the form of light snow or flurries will also be possible, but little or no accumulation is currently expected.
We will try to rebound during the Tue/Wed time frame but current indications are hinting at another surge of cold air arriving beyond this forecast cycle and that system could turn out to be very interesting.
Not going to jump on the bandwagon just yet as data flips have been far too common lately so will take a wait and see approach for subsequent data runs.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.