Weather Blog: Sunday Could Get Interesting

Saturday, February 26th 2011, 9:20 pm
By: News On 6

UPDATE: Several northern Oklahoma counties are under a tornado watch until 9 p.m. Including Garfield, Grant, Kay, Noble, Alfalfa, Major, and Woods.

Dick Faurot's Weather Blog

Elsewhere on our web page you will find graphics depicting the risk of severe storms for Sunday. Needless to say, if this pattern materializes, we will have had quite a month of February. The record breaking snow and cold the first two weeks replaced by Spring-like storms to end the month! Ah, Oklahoma weather……sure can be interesting.

Speaking of which, Sunday does look like one of those interesting days. The cool, cloudy, dreary conditions of the last few days will be replaced by much warmer conditions as a warm front moves north of us tonight. The southerly winds and overcast skies during the overnight hours will result in steady if not warming temperatures by early Sunday morning. The big question mark for Sunday is how much if any sunshine we will receive.

A strong upper level disturbance will be coming out of the southern Rockies during the day and in response to that, we will have increasing southerly winds. But, there will also be a lot of low level moisture with that whereas aloft a layer of very warm, dry air will also be in place. This usually keeps us with overcast skies limiting the instability that would otherwise develop. If we do get some breaks in the clouds, the differential heating from that or the forcing closer to a dry line that will be approaching the I-35 corridor during the afternoon could be enough to initiate a few storms. In that case, the more isolated or discrete storms that would develop would likely be super-cells with the full range of severe possibilities associated with them.

On the other hand, the layer of warm, dry air aloft may prove too much to overcome until the cool front arrives Sunday night in which case we would more likely have a linear type event with a squall line moving through the area producing damaging winds, hail, and only a more isolated tornado threat. Like I said, it will be a very interesting weather pattern to analyze and hopefully the data that comes in overnight will better clarify the possibilities.

After Sunday, much of the coming week looks relatively benign. As always, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot