High Fire Danger Sunday!

Saturday, October 15th 2011, 5:37 pm
By: News On 6

Our prospects for a drought busting rainfall event continue to be in the slim to none category for the next two weeks or so. Notice the QPF map on the right which shows the estimated total precipitation through this coming Thursday. Oklahoma is pretty much high and dry except for the extreme eastern counties which may receive a few showers and storms late Monday. Those won't do much to relieve the drought and the pattern does not appear very favorable beyond that time frame either.

The dryness together with gusty southerly winds that will be developing on Sunday and extremely warm temperatures will also make for another enhanced fire danger situation. Look for S to SW winds to be on the order of 15-25 mph or more, relative humidity levels to be dropping into the 20% range, and afternoon temperatures to be near record levels for Sunday. That translates into highs in the upper 80s and lower 90s for Sunday afternoon after starting off in the upper 50s and lower 60s Sunday morning.

The sunny skies on Sunday will give way to increasing cloud cover on Monday as a strong cool front begins to take shape and head our way. A weaker version will be along the OK/KS state line or perhaps into the extreme northern counties by Monday morning where winds will be more from an easterly direction. That boundary will wait for the upper air pattern to get its act together and push the surface cold front on through the state by Monday evening and night. As that happens, southerly winds and highs near 80 are expected ahead of the boundary, but limited moisture should keep the rain chances to about 30% and primarily for the extreme eastern counties. Some of those storms could be marginally severe though.

Gusty northerly winds behind the cold front will bring the coolest air of the season into the state. In fact, daytime highs will only be in the low-mid 60s on Tuesday and struggle to even reach 60 on Wednesday. Morning lows will be in the 40s Tues morning and 30s to near 40 Wed morning. Patchy frost may occur Wed morning if the winds calm down enough in the cooler valley locations. Thursday morning still looks to be the coldest with a definite frost/light freeze potential as we should start off in the low-mid 30s that morning. A rapidly moving system aloft will produce some late afternoon clouds, but it looks now like it will be moisture starved and weakening so have basically dropped the rainfall chances for Thu night.

After that, southerly winds return and a warming trend will be in place in time for the coming weekend. This all adds up to a real roller coaster ride with respect to temperatures this coming week so stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot