Another very cold start to our day as the map on the right clearly shows, courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Clouds have already moved in so despite a brisk southerly wind, temperatures will struggle to make it into the mid 40s this afternoon and that wind will make it feel much cooler. We will keep a brisk southerly wind flow through tonight and much of the day Monday before another cold front arrives Monday night shifting our winds back to northerly.
Together with the cloud cover, those southerly winds have huge implications regarding temperatures for tonight and tomorrow as well as the precipitation type which will be developing later tonight. Today will be dry, but a disturbance aloft will be spreading rain our way during the overnight hours from the SW. The southerly winds at the surface and a more SW wind flow aloft is what we refer to as a warm air advection pattern and this combination should keep surface temperatures from dropping below freezing tonight. However, the air may just be dry enough for wet bulb effects to bring the temperature aloft to near or slightly below freezing, particularly for the more northern counties. What that means is that there is the potential for a wintry mix tonight with a rain/sleet mix.
Look for the precipitation to be arriving around the midnight hour and it should be widespread through much of the day Monday before ending from west to east late in the day. As the second map on the right shows, it has been a very long time since many of us have received even as much as ¼ inch of rainfall and any moisture is desperately needed. This system has the potential for dropping as much as ½" for many locations and some lucky folks may receive even more. It will be a very cold rain though with temperatures pretty much holding in the mid 30s along with a brisk southerly wind.
Keep in mind, this all means wet roads heading into tomorrow night and with the cold front arriving during the overnight hours, temperatures will quickly drop back below freezing. Any water still on roadways will quickly turn to ice impacting travel for any New Year's Eve festivities. Also, as the colder air arrives, there will be another window of opportunity for a wintry mix. Most of the moisture will be moving out as the colder air moves in, but there could still be an inch or so of snow accumulate, particularly for the more northern counties. If your travel plans are further north into KS, locally heavy snows are likely up there for Monday and Monday night.
New Year's Day will then be mostly cloudy and cold with a brisk northerly wind coming off an extensive snow pack across much of Kansas. As a result, temperatures will struggle to get above freezing during the day. The rest of the week will also be colder than normal although we should see lots of sunshine. Another cold front will arrive Thursday and that system is expected to be dry. However, the continued northerly winds off the snow in KS will keep temperatures much below normal through Friday.
By the weekend, our winds should be returning to a more southerly direction resulting in temperatures finally beginning to moderate.
So, stay tuned and check back for updates.