A System Nearing Soon

Tuesday, December 28th 2010, 6:43 am
By: News On 6

The east coast blizzard is history, but not before leaving a massive amount of snow along the coast.  This storm was the equivalent of a category 2 hurricane when comparing surface pressures to past hurricanes.  At one point the pressure near Nantucket was near 974 millibars or roughly 28.70 inches of mercury.  Winds were gusting from 50 to 70 mph along the coast with the center of the storm about 150 miles to the east over the Atlantic.  Lower pressures would be associated with the cyclone over the Atlantic.  This blizzard will go into the history books as the 6th strongest blizzard to impact the New York area. 

We have a weak upper level system approaching our area today.  Cloud cover will continue to stream back into the region today as NAM and GFS bufkit point soundings for Tulsa indicate high clouds and then stratus developing and hanging around for most of the day.  This stratus cloud deck later today will keep the temps in the mid to upper 40s for afternoon highs with south winds around 10 mph common. 

Tonight low level moisture will stream northward into North Texas and southern OK.  Showers will be likely across the southern and southeastern third of the state while the Tulsa area will be on the northern edge of this precipitation.  Our chances will remain around 30 for Tulsa late tonight through Wednesday morning.  Rain chances will be near 90% across the southeastern part of the state. 

The pressure gradient will quickly tighten up Wednesday into Thursday as the next major upper level system rapidly drops across the four corners region.  This will cause an evacuating mass along the Rockies and a surface area of low pressure will rapidly form.  This cyclogenesis will cause south winds at 15 to 30 mph both tomorrow and Thursday before the system will drag a cold front into the state Friday.  Temperatures Thursday will move into the lower 50s for morning lows and afternoon highs may go near 70.  The point soundings point toward mostly cloudy conditions Thursday and continue to paint the possibility of a few passing showers.  I think this may be a sign of morning drizzle but the likelihood of measurable precip Thursday is low.

 Friday the cold front should enter the state around midday with temperatures nearing the lower or mid 50s by midday with falling temps by the afternoon along the gusty north winds.  This is the reason we have inverted the temperatures Friday with morning readings in the 50s and the afternoon temps falling into the 40s. 

Thunderstorms will be likely Friday morning through midday before the front sweeps eastward.  The big question still remains regarding the Saturday time period. 

The EURO and GFS continue to keep the southern plains dry for Saturday  The confidence remains very low regarding the Saturday precipitation chances.  A few days ago model data suggested a significant winter event for the state.  The EURO upper level charts would still suggest some light flurries will be possible Saturday but the surface output is not producing precipitation at this time.  We'll mention a few flurries for Saturday but the threat of significant precip remains low.