Wild Temperature Ride This Week

Tuesday, February 3rd 2015, 4:26 pm
By: News On 6

I've said it repeatedly on-air and it's so true: you need clothing from nearly every season for the week ahead!  Our temperatures will range from the teens to the 70s within 60 hours of time and there's even a little snow in the mix.  This time of year offers some of the biggest weather variability for Oklahoma and that certainly is the case when we straddle two different air masses.

                Today's ride in our temperature roller coaster takes us up into the 50s to near 60° with gusty south winds drawing in some warmer air.  It's a brief warm spell because another Arctic front is racing south towards our region.  By early afternoon Wednesday, our winds will be switching to the north and temperatures will be falling like a rock.  I expect Tulsa will drop below freezing by around sunset, which means any moisture the clouds can squeeze out will likely be in the form of snow.  The prospect of wintry weather is fairly low as the main energy and moisture pass further east of Green Country.  Still, by late afternoon a band of snow, possibly mixed with sleet and drizzle will try and enter our Oklahoma from the north.  The attached map shows the most likely zone for snow is from Tulsa to the east between about 6pm and midnight.  Little if any accumulation is expected, but a few places might end up with a dusting.

                We'll spend a day in the deep freeze on Thursday with temperatures struggling to get above freezing that afternoon in some parts of northeast Oklahoma.  Lows will be in the teens and wind chill values likely in the single digits for a period of time early that day.  That is the day for the heavy coat!

                Friday is an entirely different story.  Gusty southwest winds at the surface with rapid low-level warming of the atmosphere will create a big warm-up that afternoon.  Sunshine should aid in our warming into the 60s with the warming trend continuing into Saturday afternoon when temperatures peak in the lower 70s.  Saturday is the day for a t-shirt!  An expanding ridge of high pressure over the western and central U.S. will shove the Arctic air well to our north and keep it at bay for some time to come.  In fact, any attempt at cooler air reaching us will be heavily modified this far west – the real-deal cold air will pass into the northeast, where they are already very winter-wary.

                The 8 to 14 day Outlook takes this general warm spell well into mid-February.  We might even end up with a mild Valentine's Day.  There are signs of briefly colder air and even set-ups that support a little snow here between then and now, but no major winter storms appear on our horizon.  Snow lovers, don't be disheartened quite yet.  Just as quickly as we warm up, we can cool down.  All we need is that moisture and cold air to meet up overhead, which just hasn't happened much at all this season.  February into early March tend to offer the biggest snow storms of the season anyway.  With as rapidly as our pattern continues to change, we could be (and hopefully will be) talking about more precipitation chances in the near future.  The final photo shows Pretty Water Lake lacking LOTS of pretty water.  Even with last weekend's rain, we are drying out as drought gets a firmer grip on our region yet again.  This lake level is a stark reminder of how much we need a prolonged wet pattern.

Enjoy this wild temperature ride and don't get too used to any one kind of weather condition!  Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page.