While we've experienced several episodes of spring already in 2014, the season has officially arrived. It begins with warm weather, fittingly, here in Oklahoma. However, we're not done with chilly conditions and even freezing temperatures quite yet.
Snow by this point in the year is fairly rare. We can't rule out any more snowflakes, especially considering the prevalent jet stream troughing in the central and eastern U.S., keeping that region cooler than normal. However, I feel comfortable enough to say, unless anything unusual happens, Tulsa's snow total for the season will stand at 12.4". We didn't have one blockbuster snowstorm, but a number of smaller ones, which brought our total nearly 3" above normal.
Moving forward, at 11:57 am, the sun's rays are exactly perpendicular to the earth's equator. From each passing moment until the summer solstice in June, the sun angle will increase in the Northern Hemisphere, giving us progressively more light each day. That doesn't mean, however, that our temperatures warm at a constant rate. In fact, after today and Friday's warmth, we're back to jacket or even (dare I say) coat weather. Don't worry, warm weather fans… our average high temperature by the end of the season is 89°!
Today's warmth will come with the recurring issue of fire danger. Gusty winds, very low humidity values, and the overall warmth will be conducive to rapidly spreading wildfires, should they be started. That is why there's a Red Flag Warning up for at least Thursday afternoon and early evening. Winds are even stronger on Friday, but an increase in low-level moisture will offset that threat a bit.
A cold front will slide into Oklahoma Friday with much cooler air settling into the state for the weekend. A few showers and even thunderstorms may form Friday night with scattered showers lingering into Saturday are possible. Temperatures may struggle to get out of the 40s on Saturday. It's still safe to say we have one foot in spring while the other foot is still in winter, at least when it comes to our weather pattern. Below normal temperatures will likely continue into much of next week as the northwesterly flow in the jet stream sends reinforcing shots of cold air from the north.