Wednesday Morning Update

Wednesday, February 20th 2013, 5:41 am
By: Alan Crone

This update is being posted at 4:40AM.  Once again we're looking at a complicated winter weather scenario to unfold across the state beginning with a chance of snow and sleet this morning to midday across the northern third of the area.  Rain will be the dominant precip mode for areas of southeastern OK, but a wintry mix will be likely along the I-40 corridor with snow potential near and northwest of the highway 412 corridor, including the Tulsa metro.  A number of different winter weather products (watches, advisories, and warnings) have been posted across the state.  I'll direct you to the top of the weather page for the very latest watch and warning areas.  

The temps this morning are slightly above freezing in many locations.  The precip shield is located southwest of the NE Ok at this hour (4:30 am) and will be advancing to the northeast during the next several hours.  The surface air mass is extremely dry with local dew points in the mid to upper 20s.  As precip begins to fall into this dry layer at the surface, temps will drop a few more degrees with readings in the lower to mid-30s for the day.  By early afternoon, most areas south of the Tulsa area will transition from wintry mix to almost all rain, while near Tulsa to the northwest may continue to see a snow or sleet mixture.  There continues to be signals for some heavy snowfall potential for areas northwest and north of the Tulsa area for the afternoon.  By this evening, the temp profile may support the potential for freezing rain across extreme NE Ok, SE Kansas, SW Missouri, and northwest Arkansas.  After the pre-dawn Thursday morning hours, temps will move into the upper 30s and lower 40s as the main upper level system moves northeast into the central plains and the surface features move from the west to east across Oklahoma.  Most of the precipitation will come to an end Thursday midday to early afternoon.  

The mix of sleet and snow this morning to early afternoon could lead to travel issues across the central and northern portion of the state, including areas of NE Ok, SE Kansas, SW Missouri, and NW Arkansas.  You're encouraged to travel cautiously across the region today.   

Friday appears nice but cool with morning lows in the 20s and highs in the upper 30s and lower 40s.  We expect mostly sunny and cool conditions Friday. 

I'm still a little iffy regarding the Saturday time period.  The data continues to support a small mid-level wave quickly moving across the state by early to mid-morning.  The moisture content will be very low and the chance of any significant precip will be very low.  But I do think there will be some light snow showers on occasion across the northern third of the state.  Every minor wave that has moved across northern Ok during the past 2 weeks has produced some kind of light precip in spots, and I think this wave will have sufficient lift to squeeze something out of the atmosphere.   

Sunday the surface winds will increase from the southeast as temps go from the 30s to near 60 with mostly sunny to partly cloudy conditions.  These strong winds will occur as the pressure falls in response to the next storm system approaching the area.  This system will more than likely move across the state Monday with a chance of some precip across at least the eastern third of the state. 

Long range data would also support another system around Wednesday or Thursday with some wintry precip potential.  

The official high in Tulsa yesterday was 51 at 3:51pm.

The normal daily high is 55 and the low is 33.

The daily records for today include a high of  83 from 1981 and a low of 9 from 1918.


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Thanks for reading the Wednesday Morning Weather Discussion and blog.


I'll be discussing our wintry weather potential for the area this morning with Dan Potter and the KRMG Morning News in Tulsa.  I'll also be on numerous Radio Oklahoma Network affiliate stations throughout the day with weather updates.


Alan Crone