Tracking Cold Air and Wintry Precip Chances

Wednesday, December 31st 2014, 4:40 am

Another shot of arctic air has moved across the state during the last 24 hours.   A series of disturbances will move near or over the state resulting in chances for wintry precipitation.    The first minor wave arrives Thursday across southern OK and North TX, but the stronger system will move over the area Friday into Saturday morning.   A wintry mix of precipitation is possible including freezing rain, sleet, some snow, and rain.   Any accumulations are expected to remain light but may result in travel issues across part of the state.   Winter weather advisories may be issued for portions of the state as these systems draw near the region.   Temperatures today will remain in the upper 20s across northern OK and the lower 30s across the southern third of the state for afternoon highs. 

The upper air flow will be from the southwest to northeast by the end of the week as a significant upper level system currently across the west coast begins moving into the southern plains.   The exact positioning of this low will have direct implications on the precipitation types and amounts across the eastern third of the state.   Temperatures at the surface are expected to be near or below freezing Thursday night into Friday morning, and then again Friday night into Saturday morning as the main system ejects across the region.   Temperatures just above the surface may be warmer allowing for the potential for sleet or freezing rain during these late night and early morning time periods.   Surface temps may warm enough during the midday to afternoon periods to allow mostly rain.   The exception  will be for Saturday morning along and northwest of the I-44 corridor where temps in the entire column of air could support some snow before the main upper level wave lifts northeast away from the state.   A change in the trajectory of the upper level system could change some of the forecast details and we'll encourage you to remain aware of the forecast for the end of the week into Saturday morning.   

The first chance of precipitation will arrive Thursday midday across part of east central OK with the higher chances staying across southern sections of the state.    Friday midday to late afternoon, precipitation will continue developing and spreading across central and eastern OK.  Some of this may be in the form of either sleet or freezing rain.   This could continue into late Friday night before possibly changing to some snow Saturday morning near or northwest of the Tulsa metro.   The precipitation threat should quickly end Saturday morning. 

As the system moves away from the state Saturday morning, temps will move into the upper 30s or even lower 40s by afternoon before colder air arrives Sunday with morning lows in the 20s followed by afternoon highs in the lower to mid-30s.   The first few days of next week will see morning lows in the lower to mid-20s followed by afternoon highs in the upper 30s or lower 40s with mostly sunny conditions.  


Thanks for reading the Wednesday Morning weather discussion and blog.

Alan Crone