Gorgeous autumn weather is about to give way to an Arctic blast headed straight to Oklahoma. We've got one nice day to enjoy before the bottom gives way and temperatures plummet to the lowest levels since last February!
Here's the good news: mild weather holds on for our Veteran's Day events and the cold blast won't affect us for more than a few days. The bad news: we'll have to dig out our winter gear, prepare for wind chill values in the 20s, and say good-bye to all remaining tomato plants thanks to a killing freeze projected for Tuesday night.
A trough in the jet stream has latched onto the core of Arctic air over northern Canada and is thrusting it southward rather quickly. (See first map.) It will modify as it heads south, but will feel like a slap in the face once the cold front arrives Monday evening. Showers will follow the front along with wind gusts of 30mph or greater. Just enough cold air may mix with the moisture retreating south with the front to give us a few sleet pellets in the area! (No travel impacts are expected.)
By Tuesday morning, we'll be stepping out into our first taste of winter. Wind chill values in the lower 20s are expected with high temperatures struggling to reach the 40s in the afternoon. It will be time to kick on the heater again and break out the coats. That night, the wind will calm down as a massive area of high pressure settles into the region. This means temperatures will plunge even further. Lows in the lower 20s and even upper teens are likely. I expect to see a lot more brown to our landscape by Wednesday.
As I mentioned earlier though, temperatures will rise gradually later in the week. It's too early, climatologically speaking, to see winter-like readings stick around for all that long. (In month, however, we'll have to be getting used to these freezing temperatures.) Another series of upper-level waves will bring back moisture and warmer temperatures late in the week. Rain chances are with us Friday into the weekend. Fortunately, temperatures will be much more comfortable. A surge of warmth before a stronger storm system early next week may send our highs back into the 70s once again. The longer-term temperature outlook is shown in the next map.
My thoughts and prayers go to the many victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. With sustained winds of least at 170mph, it was one of the strongest landfalling tropical cyclones ever recorded. Three out of four buildings were completely destroyed in its direct path with the death toll potentially in the thousands. Conditions had to be nearly perfect for a system of that strength to form, which dwarfed Hurricane Katrina in its power.