From Ice to Nice

Thursday, December 12th 2013, 11:15 am
By: News On 6

We've made it through our first significant round of wintry weather along with the deep freeze to follow. Slowly but surely, we are starting to thaw out. Aside from a close call with wintry weather on Friday and Saturday, we are on our way to above-normal temperatures once again.

A storm system will become a bit more organized as it pulls out of the Southwest. As it does so, we'll see southerly winds returning, which will bring our temperatures up into the 40s. Can someone say heat wave?! In reality, that's still below our normal high temperature of about 50°, but the above-freezing temperatures and sunshine allow more snow to melt.

That next system will also be bringing clouds and some moisture, which will break out in the pre-dawn hours Friday. Just enough cold air at the surface may be in place to cause the liquid precipitation to freeze on contact in a few spots. Areas highlighted in the pink in my first map are most vulnerable to that between 4am and 8am. Southerly winds will not make it an ideal set-up for any significant icing (thankfully), but a few slick spots may form as temperatures flirt with the freezing mark, mainly north and east of Tulsa.

Then, we're just in for a rainy, raw Friday. Temperatures warm well into the 40s and the precipitation tapers off from west to east as the system races east of the region late Friday night. Enough cold air may get drawn into our region before a second wave in the upper levels pushes past us, which could bring about a few light snow showers. Once again, few, if any, travel impacts are expected.

Saturday will be a transition as clouds slowly clear and north winds die down. It'll be a chilly day for all of the Christmas parades, but nothing resembling LAST weekend. By Sunday, we're well into the "nice" realm for this time of year. Temperatures warm well into the 40s with sunshine. 50s are back in the picture by the work week to come. One of those days may even feature 60°+!

With a big climb comes a big fall. Our longer-range computer models indicate another harsh Arctic blast. The second map shows the EURO model's depiction of surface temperatures a week from Saturday morning. -30° readings will be migrating into the northern Plains. There are some indications we'll be back into the single digits (at least) to start off Christmas week. Will that come with snow that leads to a White Christmas??? That's the million dollar question, but the pattern would give us a higher likelihood than normal. I'll post more about those stats in my next blog post.

Enjoy the thaw! Be sure to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO, and like my page on Facebook!