Saturday was soggy, cold, raw, and even wintry for parts of Green Country. Following an early week winter storm we finally saw those temperatures rise to near normal levels for early March. Just as we began to open those windows and give the heater a break, another cold front arrived and brought us back to December-like weather. The nasty day on Saturday wasn't all negative. We ended up with the biggest rainfall in Tulsa in well over 2 months. (See first map). We certainly need the moisture as we have had the 3rd driest start to a year on record. We could have done without the near-freezing temperatures though. Fortunately, some encouraging weather pattern changes are showing up that will make Old Man Winter scarce in these parts.
As Daylight Saving Time begins, it only seems fair that warmer weather should come along with this benchmark in the year. My favorite part of this time adjustment is the extra hour of daylight in the evening. Our sunset on Sunday will occur at 7:26pm, and it does appear we'll get to enjoy sunshine until that very moment here around Tulsa. This brief cold and wet spell will end and give way to a welcome warm-up. Sunday will be the transition day with temperatures back to near-normal by afternoon. By Monday, a southwesterly wind will allow temperatures to soar into the 70s. Some spots might hit 80° by Tuesday, depending on cloud cover.
The upward trend in the temps gets interrupted by a cold front late Tuesday into Wednesday. The main energy and moisture will likely bypass most of Oklahoma to the east, but we'll see a brief cool-down to below-normal temperatures. Temperatures rebound yet again late in the week as southwesterly winds develop again. In the upper atmosphere, the northwesterly flow in the jet stream will make us prone to cool-downs every several days, but no significant precipitation. This pattern appears to continue into Spring Break week, which means below normal precipitation (see map). We'll be at the fringe of colder air to the east, but nice warm-ups will occur in between cold fronts. This time of year, cold spells get briefer and warm spells get warmer and longer thanks to an increasing sun angle and heating. In other words, spring is inevitable barring any cataclysmic event!
First thing's first, however. Set those clocks forward an hour. THEN, go find those shirts with short sleeves. By Monday evening, we'll be basking in both warmth and evening sunlight. We can't rule out any more snow or frigid temperatures quite yet, but we're on the verge of settling into the new season.