The warm front is lifting northward this morning. A few scattered showers and thunderstorms will remain possible along and north of the boundary for a few hours, and a few of these could produce some dime to nickel hail. Most of these hailers will end up in southeastern Kansas and points northeast away from the state after the early morning hours. We're seeing some inconsistent signals in the data this morning indicating the possibility of some early morning to mid-morning thunderstorm activity across eastern OK. As of 3:37am, only a few anemic echoes are noted on the radar. While some activity is possible this morning, our focus will remain for later this afternoon and evening into the pre-dawn hours of Thursday for the first round of thunderstorm activity. The second round will begin in eastern OK Thursday afternoon before moving rapidly eastward out of the state Thursday night.
The main set up for the next 48 hours hasn't changed from previous forecast discussions. Increasing low level moisture is streaming across central and eastern OK as a strong upper level system approaches the desert southwest. A surface dry line is expected to take shape by afternoon across the western portion of the state. A layer of warm air aloft (the cap) is expected to remain in place for most of the day inhibiting surface based thunderstorm development, but some elevated showers or storms will be possible. This cap should be weakening later this afternoon as colder air aloft approaches the southern plains. The combination of increasing lift, moisture, and instability should lead to a few thunderstorms late this afternoon and evening, including the threat of very large hail, damaging winds, and possibly a tornado. The coverage of thunderstorm activity may not be exceptionally high, but any thunderstorm that form could be severe. Some data suggest a few super-cell structures that could merge into a few storm cluster by late evening moving northeast across the eastern third of the state. A few of these clusters could remain into the pre-dawn Thursday hours across far northeastern OK and western Arkansas.
Thursday afternoon the dry line will merge with an eastward-southeastward moving cold front allowing additional thunderstorm development near or slightly east of the Tulsa metro. Thunderstorms would continue to develop along and east of the 69-75 corridor by early afternoon and move quickly eastward into Arkansas by early evening. These storms would also have the potential for large hail and damaging winds. A few tornadoes may be possible, but the threat may not be totally manifested until storms move more eastward into Arkansas, where a moderate risk of severe weather will be posted.
The remainder of the forecast appears cool and mild Friday into Saturday. Another system will be nearing Sunday into Monday with some shower and thunderstorm chances and additional cool air. The long range data for the middle of next week is offering some inconsistencies, but we've decided to side with some cooler air based on the projection of an amplified flow aloft.
The official high in Tulsa yesterday was 58 recorded at 5:57pm.
Highs in the 70s were noted along and south of the I-40 corridor where the warm front resided by afternoon.
The normal high is 68 and the low is 45.
Our daily records include a high of 89 from 1918 and a low of 22 from 1936.
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