Before getting into the interesting weather of Tue and again later in the week, will take a brief look back at the month of January. It is normally our driest month of the year anyway and certainly lived up to that this time around. For the official location out at the airport here in Tulsa, it turned out to be the 4th driest January on record. Total precipitation was only 0.13" of which 1.1" was snow. No wonder drought had crept back into this side of the state as seen by the drought monitor on the right.
Temperatures for the month averaged nearly 2 degrees below normal which makes 10 of the last 13 months which have been colder than normal. Quite a turnaround from the calendar year of 2012 which was the warmest on record and only had one month that was colder than normal.
Obviously, February has started off with a much more active weather pattern with the quick hitting snowmaker on Sunday and additional chances of snow for Tuesday and again later in the week. Officially, Tulsa recorded 2.7" of snow on Sunday and as you can see by the second map on the right, we stand to receive at least that much if not more again Tuesday. Look for the snow to start flying well before sunrise and then be ending from W-E during the afternoon and early evening hours.
Heavier totals can be expected just north of the I-44 corridor and lesser amounts to the SE with a rather tight gradient. That means if the axis of heavier precipitation should shift just a degree or so one way or the other, it will make a big difference in how much snow is on the ground by the end of the day. On the other hand, another factor is the dry slot aloft that is expected to pass over us by afternoon. That would contribute to lower snowfall totals than what we would otherwise expect with a system such as this. Also, the vertical profile of temperature is such that there may be some sleet/freezing rain/graupel mixed in for the first few hours before all changing over to snow. For the more southern counties, the mixed bag of precipitation will be more likely. Bottom line is these factors make predicting the total amount of wintry precipitation at any location very difficult. At any rate the second image on the right is one of the guidance products showing expected snowfall through the day. The light blue suggests 2-4" and the darkest blue is 8+ inches.
Temperatures will stay below freezing all day and in fact, it does not look very promising for any sort of a thaw for the rest of this week including the coming weekend. We may see a few breaks in the clouds later Wednesday but another series of systems aloft will be impacting the state for Thu-Sat keeping us pretty much overcast with a chance of additional snow each day. Right now, later Saturday into Saturday night looks to be the most likely time for more in the way of significant snowfall.
Early next week should finally see a break in this cold, wet pattern with a return to southerly winds and moderating temperatures. Of course, the way February is going so far, that is certainly subject to change so stay tuned and check back for updates.