Taste of Winter Tonight
Wednesday, January 21st 2015, 3:47 pm
By: News On 6
A couple days of 70° weather made it easy to forget that we're still in the dead of winter. We'll have a small reminder of the season at hand tonight into Thursday as a storm system overspreads the region with moisture as temperatures dip ever-so-close to the freezing mark.
This storm system won't be a big deal for Green Country. It'll send us looking for that heavier coat again, but not the snow shovel. The main upper-level energy to produce precipitation will pass south of us into Texas, but enough lift and moisture will give most of our state at least a brief spell of wet and wintry weather. Temperatures are relatively mild with ground temperatures in the 40s, which will be our saving grace. A few degrees colder and a shift northward with this system would make for a far different scenario for our region.
As it stands, temperatures will not likely drop below freezing as the precipitation moves in late this evening. Initially, expect light rain. As temperatures continue to fall tonight, the snow (forming in sub-freezing air above the surface) may be able to reach the ground. The heavier the precipitation, the more likely it will end up being in the form of snow. Tulsa is at the northern fringe of the precipitation shield overnight and the rain/snow mix will likely shift south of the metro area after sunrise. It's during those pre-dawn hours that Tulsa may see some snowflakes flying.
The precipitation will last longer along and south of I-40, allowing temperatures to cool as much as possible. The first map is a first model image of what the Radar may look like around 1am. A moderate band of this rain and snow mix may produce a light dusting on elevated or grassy surfaces as indicated in the 2nd attached map. This may bring a few issues south of Tulsa through mid-morning Thursday before temperatures rise above freezing and whatever remaining precipitation is around turns fully back to rain again. Needless to say, the opportunity for wintry weather is limited and coming in a short window of time.
Western Oklahoma WILL be cold enough with heavier precipitation to end up with several inches of snowfall and difficult travel. That is where Winter Storm Warnings have been posted. The greatest impacts will felt in the Panhandle and far western portions of the state while the least impacts will occur in far northeastern Oklahoma, where no rain (or snow for that matter) will likely even fall.
By Thursday evening, all of the precipitation is south and east of our area ending the threat for wintry weather for another week. In fact, temperatures will gradually warm back into the 50s and 60s this weekend with mild air hanging on until midweek next week. As it's looking now, the first month of 2015 will go down as a very benign weather month for us.
We'll keep you updated with the latest wintry weather potential. Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page.