A strong cold front is moving across eastern OK this morning bringing a small window for showers and storms. The more significant impact will be strong winds from the northwest. Wind speeds may gust from 30 to 40 mph this afternoon along with temperatures falling into the upper 40s by 5pm. The fire danger will be extremely high today due to the high winds. A spring-like Friday and Saturday will be followed by a cooler Sunday and possibly more cold air next week.
The powerful upper level system is moving across the central plains this morning bringing blizzard conditions to the Midwest and eventually spring storms across the southeast. We had some light showers last night across the region but a few thunderstorms developed after midnight and moved northeast early this morning. Some small hail was reported in a few spots.
A very strong surface area of low pressure near the state is rapidly lifting northeast during the next few hours. A surface cold front will quickly move east and southeast across eastern OK and western Arkansas between 10am and noon with a narrow line of showers or storms possible. Most of the operational models keep the " real " rain and storms to the east, but we're still in the running for a narrow line of showers as the boundary pushes across the area.
Temperatures this morning will start in the lower 60s but should fall into the upper 40s or lower 50s by the afternoon with decreasing clouds and some sunshine. The gradient wind will be very strong for most of the day with wind advisories posted for portions of the state. High wind warnings may be required for part northwestern OK this morning through early afternoon where winds may gust over 50 mph.
Most model data support Friday morning in the upper 20s or lower 30s followed by highs in the mid-60s. A southwest surface wind at 15 to 25 mph will once again increase the fire danger across the state, including the Tulsa metro.
The upper air pattern will be from the northwest this weekend into early next week with several frontal intrusions a possibility.
A cold front will enter the state sometime Saturday afternoon or evening bringing north winds and cooler air into northern and eastern OK by Sunday. A few sprinkles or brief showers seem possible across far southern OK Sunday morning, but this probability will remain very low.
The data continues to waffle around regarding the magnitude of colder air we may experience next week. I'll not make any major changes to our ongoing forecast and will keep Tuesday and Wednesday in the 40s for afternoon highs.
The extended data continues to support a colder week ahead. Stay tuned. I don't think we're finished with winter.
The official high in Tulsa yesterday was 69 recorded at 3:05pm.
The normal daily average high is 55 and the low is 33.
The daily records include a high of 83 from 1981 and a low of 9 from 1918.
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I'll be discussing the forecast on numerous Radio Oklahoma News Network affiliates across the state through the morning hours.
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