After a cold start this morning, temperatures rebounded nicely this afternoon with most locations at or above normal for this time of year.
Notice the max/min temperature map for the state, courtesy of the OK Mesonet.
A warming trend will be setting in for this weekend and into the early part of next week with temperatures expected to be on the order of 10-15 degrees or so above normal.
That will have an impact on soil temperatures as well, but they will respond much more slowly.
Notice the current soil temperature map, again courtesy of the OK Mesonet, at 2 inches under sod. Those numbers will be gradually climbing as we go into next week.
But, along about the time February arrives, so will another surge of much colder air as we head into the following weekend.
Between now and then, enjoy the warming trend with daytime highs generally in the 50s for Saturday and generally in the 60s through the middle of next week.
After tonight, our overnight lows will be generally above freezing as well and that combination will help to slowly warm those soil temperatures.
We can also expect abundant sunshine with only some occasional high level cirrus clouds until later next week which means a dry forecast until along about Friday or Saturday. That is when a stronger system will be coming our way, spreading more clouds and a chance of showers or rain by Friday and perhaps into the day Saturday as well.
As is often the case at those longer time ranges, the long range guidance diverges with one solution painting some widespread rainfall by Friday or so and another basically dry. As you can see on our forecast page, we have introduced a slight chance of rain by Friday to account for that uncertainty with the understanding that those numbers are subject to significant changes depending on subsequent data runs.
Keep in mind the above normal temperatures together with the lack of precipitation for most of this forecast cycle could translate into fire danger concerns, particularly on those days with the stronger winds.
Right now, the days with stronger winds and therefore enhanced fire danger concerns look to be Sunday and Wednesday.
Although next weekend is beyond the time domain of our forecast page, there is a strong signal suggesting a return to much colder conditions by then. In fact, we may struggle to get above freezing by Sunday.
Notice the 8-14 day guidance for example which has a stronger signal suggesting below normal temperatures for most of the country east of the Rockies during that time frame. It would also suggest at least the potential for some active weather sometime during that time frame as well. That is not to say we can expect wintry weather, but given the time of year, it certainly remains a possibility.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.