We just weathered the coldest night of the season with temperatures that dipped into the teens. The overnight readings, shown in the map to the right, were well below normal, even by December standards. In fact, McAlester tied a record low of 16 bone-chilling degrees! The dry conditions, clear skies, and light winds allowed for a prime set-up for radiational cooling. In other words, the denser, cold air sinks to the surface with no wind flow to mix it out. At the same time, heat at the surface is radiated away with no clouds to block it from leaving the lower atmosphere.
So, that was the story of last night and, to a lesser extent, tonight. The story for the rest of the week is cool, but gradually warming conditions with a rather benign weather pattern. Zonal flow in the jet stream keeps any surge of Arctic air at bay. Although this time of year is often known for potent low pressure systems, there are none to be found in the southern Plains for the next week or so.
After our first taste of winter with flurries flying and even some minor accumulations, we are parting ways with snow chances for awhile. Even with a cold front or two set to come through in the following week, moisture will be extremely limited for rain or snow to be an issue.
Temperatures will finally return to average levels by early next week. What does that look like, again? Well, the average high temperature is around 50 with the average low temperature around 30. So if it felt like Mother Nature was rushing us into the winter season, you were right!