Bitter Cold, Light Wintry Precipitation Tonight.


Saturday, December 7th 2013, 10:45 am
By: News On 6


Been awhile since I have written one of these. They let me out of my cage over the Thanksgiving Holiday and for several days after that and then have been extremely busy catching up and dealing with this winter blast. Speaking of which, it is not over yet.

Notice the statewide low temperature map on the right as of early this morning, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. You have to go back to Feb of 2011 for the last time we were this cold as the last two winters have been very mild with no single digit temperatures at all. That in itself is rather unusual to say the least as we average about 10 such occurrences over the course of a ‘normal' winter.

Quite frankly, was expecting it to be even colder this morning due to the widespread snow cover, but the winds stayed up just enough to keep temperatures from totally bottoming out. The second map on the right shows the negative wind chill values through the overnight hours; so the winds kept temperatures up a bit, but also contributed to some brutal wind chill values.

Also, the clear overnight skies have already been replaced by clouds quickly streaming this way from the SW. That is due to yet another piece of energy aloft that will be passing over the state later tonight and quickly moving on eastward Sunday. This is a similar scenario to what produced the widespread snow cover we now have except for the fact this system will be moisture starved. It will have enough punch to wring some precipitation out of the air by this evening and through the overnight hours, ending Sunday morning. However, the lack of moisture in the region where most of the snow forms will act as a significant limitation to the amounts so although some light snow or snow grains will be possible, little or no accumulation is anticipated. Quite frankly, the moisture profile is more suggestive of some freezing drizzle or ice crystal formation for the overnight hours. As mentioned, amounts will be very light with less than an inch if even that much. However, the sub-freezing temperatures all day and what is already on the ground will make for slick spots on roads so travelers need to be very cautious.

The cloud cover and a NE wind will keep afternoon temperatures from warming much above 20, if even that much today. However, as the winds become SE overnight and more southerly by morning, temperatures should hold steady and may even rise a few degrees by Sunday morning. We will have a south wind on Sunday, but it will be a cold one and with the cloudy skies temperatures should hold in the 20s during the day. Another surge of colder air will arrive Sunday night with brisk northerly winds on Monday and highs again only in the 20s.

Lots of sunshine for Tue/Wed should finally push our daytime highs at or above the freezing mark. By later in the week, another system will be heading our way but temperatures should have warmed enough by then for just a chance of some rain as we head into the next weekend.

So, stay tuned and stay warm.

Dick Faurot