Dick Faurot's Weather Blog: Wind Chill Below Zero


Wednesday, January 7th 2015, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6


Notice the minimum wind chill map so far today, courtesy of the OK Mesonet; pretty brutal. Notice also the strongest winds recorded so far today, also courtesy of the OK Mesonet.

The good news is that those winds will be decreasing as the sun goes down this evening, becoming nearly calm during the middle of the night and returning to a more southerly direction by early morning.

The bad news is that the lighter winds and the fair skies overnight will allow temperatures to bottom out with lower single digits expected and, perhaps, even a few locations below zero in the normally colder valleys of NE OK.

The return to southerly winds by Thursday morning may be enough to keep some locations a degree or two warmer than would otherwise be the case, but with those kinds of temperatures, any wind at all will result in a dangerously low wind chill value.

In fact, by first thing in the morning a southerly breeze up to 10 mph will be enough to bring wind chill values well below zero.

As the day wears on, those southerly winds will quickly increase to 20 mph with higher gusts by late morning through the afternoon hours.

Clouds will also be on the increase during the course of the day, so despite the southerly winds, temperatures will struggle to reach the freezing mark. That will also be a cold southerly wind all day Thursday.

Another surge of cold air will arrive by early Friday, keeping temperatures below freezing all day.

After starting the morning in the teens, daytime highs will only be in the 20s, along with a northerly wind around 20 mph, putting wind chill values into the teens and possibly the single digits at times.

At least lots of sunshine is expected for Friday.

Saturday will also get off to a very cold start with temperatures likely in the lower teens and some single digits in the colder valleys. But, our winds will be quickly returning to a southerly direction during the day, so afternoon highs will be close to the freezing mark.

Right now, it looks like an increase in cloud cover during the day will likely keep us from getting much above freezing, if at all.

After that, southerly breezes will persist through Sunday and into the day Monday before yet another cold front arrives later Monday.

Although temperatures will remain well below normal, at least there will be some moderation with daytime highs above freezing for both Sun/Mon and morning lows generally in the 20s.

However, we will also have mostly cloudy skies and some energy aloft may bring some wintry precipitation our way as well.

Right now, it appears that most of us will be on the fringe of this winter weather potential with only a slight chance for late Sunday, into the day Monday and mostly for the more eastern counties at that.

A more N to NE wind for later Monday and through the day Wednesday together with some energy aloft will keep us well below normal and may result in another chance of wintry precipitation late Tuesday into the day Wednesday.

Current indications do not suggest this will be a major winter storm, but it will be closely monitored in the days ahead.

After that, the longer range guidance does suggest a more significant moderating trend.

Notice the 8-14 day graphics, for example, which have a rather strong signal that temperatures will average above normal during that week long stretch.

There are also indications of additional chances of precipitation during that time frame.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot.