Wow, what a day.
Notice the max/min temperature map for today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. After a chilly start to the day, things really warmed up with most of the state in the 60s and even some low 70s across the far western counties.
One of the contributing factors for the warmer temperatures was the abundant sunshine which we have not seen much of so far this winter.
That will be the case right on through the weekend and into next week even though some weak frontal boundaries will move across the state over the course of the next several days.
The first front will be arriving during the day Saturday shifting our winds from S/SW to the NW and a little gusty at 10-20 mph at times. But, this air is of Pacific origin and is coming from across the Rockies which means there will be a downslope component to the winds.
As a result, temperatures will not cool off much if at all during the day, despite the wind shift. However, the gusty winds together with very warm temperatures, dormant vegetation, and low humidity levels will be cause for concern regarding fire danger.
The southerly winds overnight will keep us much milder to start the day Saturday with overnight lows generally in the mid-upper 30s. S to SW winds ahead of the wind shift will produce a rapid warm-up and the NW winds behind the front do not have any cold air to work with. As a result, look for afternoon temperatures to reach the lower 60s.
There will be some mid-high level clouds as the system overhead passes through, but it is moisture starved and not all that strong anyway so mostly sunny skies will be the general rule.
The winds will quickly return to a southerly direction on Sunday along with lots of sunshine again so after a chilly start that morning with lows near freezing, look for afternoon highs back into the low-mid 60s.
Monday will also have southerly winds for most of the day before another cool front arrives and shifts our winds back to a northerly direction late in the day. Lots of sunshine should also result in a daytime high well into the 60s.
But, there will be some cooler air filtering behind that boundary so brisk northerly winds on Tuesday should hold us in the 50s during the day despite lots of sunshine.
The rest of the week will be even cooler with highs in the 40s to near 50 and our nights back to or below freezing.
Keep in mind that is closer to normal for this time of year though so not much to complain about there.
Our precipitation chances are another matter though. Obviously we will be dry going into next week, but the longer range guidance is not very consistent.
The Euro model which is often the more reliable would suggest we will be on the northern fringe of a very wet system moving across Texas and the Gulf Coast. The GFS is basically dry for us and is keeping everything even further south.
The trends have been for the precipitation shield to shift further south more in keeping with the going GFS solution so will only call for a very slight chance of anything falling from the sky along about Thursday.
Notice the 7-day QPF estimate which has a very wet signal along the Gulf Coast and again we are on the northern fringe of that. Obviously, any shift in the main storm center either south or north would result in a big change in our precipitation chances as well as precipitation type, so this will have to be watched closely in the coming days.
In the meantime, stay tuned and check back for updates.