Turning Cooler Today In NE Oklahoma

Friday, March 18th 2011, 5:00 am
By: News On 6

Alan Crone, News On 6

The madness of March is upon us!  If you are visiting our area for the NCAA tournament welcome to northeastern OK.  The weather is usually a little more volatile in mid March, but yesterday was super nice with highs in the lower 80s. 

 Today we have some issues.  The front has entered northern OK already this morning and appears to be a faster moving front than depicted in yesterday's model data.  It's located just north of Tulsa this morning.  We have clear sky now, but as the boundary moves south later this morning, clouds should form.  A few isolated storms are possible behind the front for the next several hours as the low level jet continues to move across the area.  This may be enough of a lifting mechanism to spark off a storm or two across southern Kansas.

 The faster movement of the front requires dramatic changes to the forecast highs for today compared to yesterday's numbers.   The Tulsa area will top out in the upper 60s by noon to 1pm and will fall into the mid 50s by 5pm with strong north winds.  Bartlesville will stay in the lower 50s for the entire day, while McAlester in southern OK will move into the upper 70s or  the lower 80s by early afternoon before falling into the 60s by 5pm. 

 Tonight the boundary will move southward and should stall around the Red River Valley.   A few morning storms are possible Saturday across northern Ok and southern Kansas behind the boundary before it moves northward as a warm front or either reforms to the north later in the day. The elevated energy behind the boundary in the mid levels of the atmosphere could help to produce some thunderstorms with small hail.

 Sunday and Monday a major upper level system will be approaching the area, but we continue to keep the probability of storm activity very low.  The moisture may not be deep enough in the atmosphere to support anything more than a few isolated storms Tuesday before the front moves across the area.

 Cool air is likely Wednesday through Friday of next week with highs near or below normal.  Another major storm seems likely by next weekend.

Forecast confidence:  4!

Position of the front and the impact on afternoon temperatures will be a major issue today.

Forecast confidence for Saturday through Wednesday:  8