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Monday, January 3rd 2011, 4:55 am
By: News On 6


The colder air will slowly moderate today with afternoon highs moving to near 50 in Tulsa or mid 50s across the far southern OK area along with south to southwest breezes at 10 to 15 mph.  A weak system will enter the area tonight but low level moisture is too low for any significant precipitation chance across the state.  A few sprinkles may occur along the Texas side of the Red River Valley early tomorrow morning. 

Temperatures will drop back into the 40s Tuesday before rebounding into the lower 50s Wednesday and Thursday. The weather pattern will remain rather benign and should result in mainly sunny and cool conditions for the next several days despite the upper air flow transitioning to a northwest flow by the end of the week. 

The GFS and Euro data both suggest another major surge of arctic air will be possible by the end of next weekend into early next week.  Consistent signals are being sent by both model sets and the upper air pattern would suggest this scenario.  A southern stream system is also being modeled around the Sunday-Monday period with moisture reaching into eastern OK Sunday.

This bears watching but more importantly the pattern next week may prove to be problematic if the magnitude of cold air currently modeled arrives and stays for the duration suggested.  

The prelim rating for Friday's deadly tornado near Cincinnati, Arkansas is an EF 3.  This means winds nearing 140 mph were likely as the tornado developed just northeast of Westville, OK and moved across the state line into Western Arkansas.  The storm was tracking northeast at 55 to 60 mph and was only on the ground for a short time, but destroyed at least 20 homes in the small community.  The fatality count remains at 3. 

This same storm moved into southwest Missouri killing 4 and destroying property near Rolla.  December tornadoes are not unusual but are considered rare.  This individual storm also prompted tornado warnings for McIntosh and part of Pittsburg County earlier Friday morning.