From Storms To a Cold Blast

Saturday, April 12th 2014, 10:38 pm
By: News On 6

We are in for a wild ride here in Oklahoma from Sunday into Monday with nearly every type of weather on the platter for at least parts of our state. The ride actually began Saturday when temperatures soared into the mid-90s in western Oklahoma (first map). Two days from now, those same locations *could* be covered in a dusting of snow!

A fairly potent area of energy riding along in the subtropical jet stream is arriving from the west while a stout cold front will draw down an unseasonably cold air mass. As these features consolidate over the Southern Plains, stormy conditions with the threat for severe weather will result. On a more localized scale, the cold front will settle southward Sunday morning into northern Oklahoma, intersecting a surface low pressure. A dry line (boundary between moist and dry area) will extend southward from there. (See my second graphic). It's just east of that low pressure where the highest likelihood of severe weather is to be found. A few showers and storms will fire up in the morning, but this will be just a non-severe precursor to the main event Sunday afternoon.

The Storm Prediction Center has put out a small moderate risk area of severe weather directly over the Tulsa area. With daytime heating and the approaching energy from the west, storms will fire along the cold front and potentially the dry line. Storms that initially form could become supercellular, meaning they could rotate and cause significant severe weather. Large hail will be the initial threat, but any discrete storm could have enough helicity (spinning in the lower level of the atmosphere) for a tornado to form. This is not a tornado outbreak set-up due to the potent cold front that will overtake the discrete storms with time, but the afternoon will pose that threat. As time wears on, that cold front will punch southward and send a squall line of sorts through our region. The Tulsa area may see that occur in the late afternoon or early evening. High winds and hail will be possible in those storms with a minimal tornado threat. Eventually these storms will shift south and east of our area by late evening.

So to break it down – morning showers will be round 1, afternoon/evening severe storms will be round 2. Round 3 is the COLD round. (See my timeline) Behind the cold front, temperatures will fall into the 40s and even 30s. Another piece of energy arrives Monday morning and creates widespread showers in the area. It will be cold enough just northwest of eastern OK to produce a wintry mix. Snow may actually accumulate in northwestern Oklahoma! Old Man Winter may be back for one more encore performance! (I thought we finally got rid of that pesky season).

Temperatures start to rebound to normal readings by midweek and another round of showers or storms may occur Thursday. On top of these various threats, fire danger will be intermittently high as well on these windy, dry days. It's a smorgasbord of weather so buckle your seat belts! Be sure to follow me on Twitter, @GroganontheGO and like my page on Facebook!