Welcome to spring. A week ago we were dealing with snow on the ground and schools closed due to slick roads. Yesterday we hit the upper 70s with gusty southwest winds. Today we'll move into the lower 80s before a strong cold front rolls across the area tonight with extremely strong post frontal winds and cooler air Wednesday. The pattern will remain active from Friday into the weekend, but the exact timing and probability for any shower or thunderstorm activity will remain in the low confidence category for the extended period.
The weather will be dominated today by more spring-like conditions. Temperatures this afternoon may rise into the lower 80s with gusty southwest winds ahead of a surface low and cold front that will move across the state this evening. The surface wind profile will act to veer most low level moisture into Arkansas and southwestern Missouri by this evening, but a few scattered showers or storms will remain possible along the boundary late tonight into pre-dawn Wednesday. The chance for the Tulsa metro will remain around 20%. About a 30% pop will suffice for extreme east-central OK and western Arkansas. I think the main issue with the front will be the post frontal gradient winds.
Most model data including our in-house runs support very strong northwest winds this evening into the overnight hours behind the boundary. Model wind speeds support some 40 to near 50 mph gusts from 7pm to 4am and our friends at the NWS will issue a wind advisory for a large portion of the state for these time periods. The fire danger this afternoon will remain high due to the strong southwest winds and dry conditions. Fire operations would be critically impacted by the wind shift and increase in wind speeds this evening behind the front.
Temperatures Wednesday are expected in the lower or mid-50s with north winds. The return flow Thursday from the southwest will kick the highs back into the mid-60s.
Friday into the weekend is highly uncertain in both our forecast and the various model data suites. The GFS is suggesting an upper level system will swing across the state Friday with a chance of showers and storms followed by another wave Sunday. The EURO is bringing the wave into the area Friday, but the precipitation forecast is low compared to the GFS. Both sets support a frontal passage Sunday with cooler air but both models have different solutions regarding the precipitation chances and locations. We have decided to stick with our current forecast with a minor cool down Sunday and a slight chance of showers or storms.
The up and coming spring break week could get interesting by the end of the week. GFS data has continued to suggest an upper level system swinging across the middle portion of the nation which in turn would help develop a central plains surface low. We should have a few days of warm southerly flow next week that will allow low level moisture transport into the state. Stay tuned.
The official high in Tulsa yesterday was77 from 5:01pm.
The normal daily average high is 61 and the low is 39.
Our daily records include a high of 94 from 1967 and a low -1 1948.
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