Monday Midday Update

Monday, January 31st 2011, 10:53 am
By: News On 6

We continue to monitor the incoming winter storm carefully.  The upper level system is near Phoenix this morning and will move eastward soon. A surface area of low pressure will develop soon across New Mexico and move eastward into southeast Texas.  This surface low pressure area will track across central Texas tonight and into central Arkansas tomorrow.  This will place most of Oklahoma in a favorable position for winter precipitation.

Cold arctic air to our north will begin moving southward by late this afternoon and evening.  As the storm system draws near the area, moisture will begin to lift northward across Texas and rapidly move into Oklahoma.  Precipitation will start as rain and quickly mix to freezing rain and then to sleet across the central and northeastern part of the state. Sometime early tomorrow morning between 2am and 6am, the sleet will transition to moderate and heavy snow across the portions of central and northeastern OK.  The duration of sleet will have a major impact on the total snowfall accumulations with this system, but current data supports major snow amounts across central to northeastern OK and southeastern Kansas.  Our current accumulation forecast for the Tulsa area remains from 8 inches to over a foot with some higher amounts possible.  Areas along the I-40 corridor may see from 4 inches to near 10 inches with lesser amounts across southeastern OK.  The incoming NAM and GFS data support even higher snowfall totals, but we feel the models may not be correctly supporting the amount and duration of possible sleet with this system across area.   If the sleet duration is relatively short, significantly higher snowfall totals will be possible across northeastern OK as a plume of moisture feeds into the developing system.

 North winds are also expected to increase from 20 to near 40 mph tomorrow creating blowing snow and zero visibility. It's not impossible for a blizzard warning issuance for portions of the area tomorrow.  If this is the case, it would be the second time in two years for this type of occurrence.

Our friends at the National Weather Service posted the Top Two-Day Snowfall records for Tulsa.

  1. 11.9 inches from March 9-10, 1994
  2. 11.5 inches from March 20-21, 1924
  3. 11.5 inches ( ties #2) from January 9-10, 1920
  4. 10.7 inches from November 30 , 2006- December 1, 2006
  5. 10.0 inches from January 6-7, 1988

Dick is in the office this morning and will be updating the forecast and the blog as conditions warrant.