Colder Air Today

Monday, February 21st 2011, 5:34 am
By: News On 6

A strong cold front is moving over the state this morning with gusty north winds and falling temperatures.  A few showers will be possible across northern and eastern OK through the early morning hours.  Highs today will occur early this morning before most folks are up.  Temperatures will rebound into the upper 40s and lower 50s by later this afternoon.  Mostly cloudy conditions will give way to partly cloudy skies later today.  If the clouds do not clear, temperatures will be colder with readings in the mid 40s for most of the afternoon.  Take the coat or the jacket today.

Temperatures will drop into the mid 20s for Tuesday morning lows before moving back into the upper 50s and lower 60s Tuesday. 

Another strong-looking system will be approaching the area Wednesday evening into Thursday bringing the first round of severe storms for the early season.  This strong short wave in the mid to upper levels of the atmosphere will approach western OK Wednesday evening and then lift over northeastern sections during the midday Thursday.   A surface area of low pressure will develop over the state Wednesday evening causing strong south winds and a rapid increase in low level moisture.  Some scattered showers or storms will be likely Wednesday evening through early Thursday with a higher coverage of strong to near severe storms possible by midday to early afternoon Thursday.  Many times the model data will over estimate instability and moisture during the late winter and early spring period.  If this is the case, the higher likelihood for severe storms will be across far eastern OK and western Arkansas, but for now the data is indicating the severe potential will include the eastern third of the state including the Tulsa metro.  We'll fine tune some of the details during the next forecast cycle.

Another issue will be shallow cold front moving into the area this weekend.  The models offer completely different solutions and my forecast is basically a blend of the two with some weight toward the EURO solutions.  This would mean southeast winds Saturday with the front stalling north of Tulsa Saturday and moving southward Sunday morning.  Some showers or storms will be possible with this system, but of more concern would be the potential for some minor wintry precip possibilities across extreme northern OK and southern Kansas.

A special "hello" to the folks at Timothy Baptist Church in Muskogee.   I was at a concert Sunday evening for a few hours.  Your words of kindness and encouragement are appreciated.