Tracking Green Country's New Year's Day Wintry Precipitation
Thursday, January 1st 2015, 4:37 am
By: Alan Crone
Update 7:45am: Tulsa Co and a few additional counties now included in the winter weather advisory. Please check the top of the web page for the saltest county by county outline of the advisory area.
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Happy New Year!
Sleet and some freezing rain will begin moving into portions of southern OK during the next several hours where winter weather advisories are now underway. Some very light sleet may be possible across the metro later today, but the higher likelihood for precipitation this morning through midday will remain to the south of the metro. Even light amounts may cause some travel issues on elevated surfaces.
Locations southward included in the winter weather advisory may experience periods of sleet and freezing rain this morning through afternoon resulting in travel issues. Temperatures this morning will remain below freezing in many locations across eastern OK and should move above freezing by 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., but only a degree or 2 above, as south winds return across the area. This first minor disturbance will quickly move away from the eastern OK vicinity by early afternoon and precipitation chances will end. Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing late tonight into Friday morning.
The main upper level system, currently to our west, will begin moving eastward soon. Friday afternoon and evening rain will develop across north Texas and rapidly spread northeast into south-central and eastern OK. Temps by Friday afternoon are expected to be above freezing at the surface.
Temperatures in the 5k ft level may also be warming slightly to near or above freezing, but only by a few degrees. This would support a cold rain developing Friday afternoon and evening across the region. Most model data now support a slower arrival of the main upper level system.
The data also suggests the main upper level low will move across northwestern OK Saturday morning, across far north-central and south-central Kansas midday, and ejecting across southeastern Kansas by Saturday evening. If this trajectory and positioning continues in the data, our weather will be dominated by cold rain pre-dawn Saturday with a few sleet pellets before a dry slot moves into the area ending the precipitation by Saturday morning. Some sleet or snow mix will be possible Saturday directly under the upper level system, but this may be too far north to impact the Tulsa metro.
Any snow would be confined to the northwestern OK areas, or eventually along the OK-Kansas state line areas by Saturday midday to late afternoon. As the system lifts northeast away from the state, another surge of cold air will arrive Sunday with gusty north winds and temps dropping back into the lower 20s for afternoon highs. Some sunshine would be possible Sunday into early next week with cold air remaining across the region.
In summary, the higher likelihood ( 90 percent) for wintry precipitation this morning through midday will remain south of the Tulsa metro. The Tulsa metro chances will remain near 70 percent between noon and 4pm today. Our temps will be near or slightly above freezing at this point, but some minor wintry precipitation may still occur. Please check the top of the weather page for up-to-date information regarding winter weather advisory locations.
The temperature profile at the surface and near 5k ft. late Friday night into Saturday morning will be critical to the precipitation types we receive. A few degrees difference colder could result in some wintry precipitation. But at this point, we are planning for a cold rain. You are encouraged to remain aware of the forecast for the next few days.
Thanks for reading the Thursday Morning weather discussion and blog.
Happy New Year!