The Blue Norther of 11/11/1911.


Friday, November 11th 2011, 3:00 pm
By: News On 6


During the Noon show today, I promised to elaborate on a very unusual weather event that occurred 100 years ago; 11/11/1911. The map on the right illustrates what is arguably the most sudden, extreme temperature change ever observed in our state. In Oklahoma, we are accustomed to rapid changes in our weather, but this particular event set some standards that have yet to be broken 100 years later. The weather station in Oklahoma City set the daily record high and low temperature on the same date, and those records still stand. Here in Tulsa, the record high of 85 on this date has since been tied (1989), but not broken and the record low the following morning of 15 has yet to be broken. Back then, hourly temperature data was not available for Tulsa so we do not know what the temperature was at midnight. It is conceivable that the midnight temperature was also a record. In OKC, hourly temperatures were recorded and after setting a record high of 83 on the afternoon of 11/11/1911, the midnight temperature of 17 still stands as the record for that date as well. In fact, in OKC the temperature dropped 43 degrees in one hour. Now that is a "Blue Norther!"

That was then, and our weather now is much more tranquil. After a chilly start this morning, the sunny skies and gusty SW winds are moderating temperatures quite nicely. The only real issue is the strength of the winds which are gusting to 30 mph and together with a low humidity level are creating some fire danger issues. Look for those southerly winds to continue through the night tonight keeping temperatures on the mild side. We will be dropping into the 50s this evening for the play-off football games, but southerly winds of 10-20 mph will make it feel cooler.

Saturday will likely have even stronger S to SW winds of 20-35 or more so it will be quite windy. That also implies a very high fire danger situation for Saturday. Look for some of those high level cirrus clouds to be thickening up during the day which may keep temperatures from getting any warmer than the lower 70s. A strong storm system off the coast of California is expected to move eastward over the course of the weekend, but current indications suggest most of its energy will be well south of us. Even so, there may be a few showers pop up late Sunday for the more SE counties and a little better chance on Monday. Also, a weak surface boundary will be in the area Sunday and Monday resulting in much lighter winds.

After this system moves on eastward, we should be back to fair skies and mild temperatures for the middle to latter part of next week.

At this point, we do not see any repeats of what happened 100 years ago so stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot