Frost/Light Freeze Possible Thursday AM.

Tuesday, October 18th 2011, 3:28 pm

By: News On 6

If you are like me, you were very disappointed in the rainfall last night. Notice the 24 hour precipitation map on the right courtesy of the OK Mesonet. Some lucky folks managed to get as much as an inch of rain, but those totals were very spotty and most of us barely got enough to settle the dust. At least the rain was widespread as expected, but the storms just moved through too quickly and were not of sufficient intensity to do much more than a quick shower for most of us.

That raises the question of; when is our next chance for some useful rainfall? Unfortunately, the answer to that is……not any time soon. We are seeing a weak precipitation signal over the course of this coming weekend, but if it amounts to anything at all, it will be light and spotty and will not alleviate the drought situation.

So, the main issue with this forecast cycle is temperatures. Considering that we were in the 90s on Sunday and the upper 80s just yesterday, obviously we are on the downward side of what is a pretty steep roller coaster ride in that respect. Mid 60s is what we are looking at this afternoon and only near 60 for the next couple of days after that. Our nights will be much colder with 30s to near 40 tonight and lower 30s for Wednesday night.

Those gusty NW winds this afternoon will subside somewhat tonight but are not expected to calm down completely. However, Wednesday night should see light winds which will help with the radiational cooling that produces our coldest overnight temperatures. As a result, a light freeze and some frost will be possible by Thursday morning. I say only some frost as the dew point temperature may drop into the teens or low 20s by then which will make frost formation more difficult.

After that, our surface winds will be returning to a southerly direction which will start a gradual warming trend for the coming weekend. As mentioned, we are seeing a weak qpf signal in the longer range guidance over the course of the weekend so have put in a 20% chance of rain just to indicate there is some uncertainty by then. The upper level system does not look very impressive, but a few light showers are not out of the question.

Our winds will be light and somewhat variable over the weekend as well due to a weak surface feature that will try to make a run at us. That will result in some variability to the wind direction, but for forecast purposes kept the winds from a generally southerly direction as that should be the prevailing direction till that feature washes out.

A stronger cold front will be headed our way with the GFS as usual faster than the European model. The GFS brings the front through during the day Tuesday and the Euro not till early Wed. In either event, it does not at this point look to be a big rainmaker for us anyway.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot


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