TULSA, OK -- Winter could be returning to northeastern Oklahoma by the weekend. But first, severe weather is expected to break out across north central and northeastern Oklahoma late Thursday.
News On 6 meteorologist Alan Crone says there is a chance of rain and storms Thursday and some may be severe.
A cold rain is likely Friday. That rain may change to snow across northern Oklahoma as a major winter storm moves out of Colorado into the plains.
Crone says areas along and northwest of the I-44 corridor, including the Tulsa area, may receive 2 to 4 inches of snowfall by Saturday afternoon. Areas of southern Oklahoma south of I-40 may receive more rain and sleet compared to snow Saturday morning.
Read Alan Crone's Weather Discussion
A major storm system will impact the state over the next 48 to 72 hours with a variety of weather ranging from severe storms to snow. The first portion of the system will result in spring like thunderstorms tonight, overnight, and early tomorrow morning. Large hail will be the main threat but a tornado or two may be possible with any super cell storm forming near the warm front. The eventual position of this warm front is yet to be known with any confidence. Most data support the boundary remaining across southern OK into the Red River valley this afternoon. There remains a slight possibility of the warm front lifting more northward into the I-40 corridor by 3am Friday morning.
Friday morning strong to severe storms may be underway across eastern and southern OK while snow begins to develop across southwestern Kansas and northwestern OK. Blizzard like conditions may exist Friday midmorning from Dodge City southward to near Alva where winds of 25 to 40 mph will combine with heavy snowfall creating a crippling winter storm across the northwestern third of Oklahoma.
Cold rain will continue to fall across northeastern OK including Tulsa as temperatures drop into the lower 40s by Friday afternoon with north winds at 10 to 25 mph.
Friday evening the rain to sleet to snow transition should be underway from central OK into south-central Kansas, with rain continuing across eastern and northeastern OK.
Saturday morning the rain will begin to transition to snow across the northeastern third of the state into southeastern Kansas. Accumulating snowfall will be possible along and north of the I-44 corridor. Areas of southern OK may see some rain changing to sleet or snow, but the higher likelihood for accumulating snow will remain across the northeastern third of the state.
Temperatures Saturday will remain in the 30s for most locations and may rebound into the upper 40s or possibly lower to mid 50s Sunday. The Sunday afternoon temperatures will be dependant upon what happens Saturday regarding snowfall across the area.
Spring like weather will return early next week with several strong systems approaching the area. The first system Monday may be moisture starved and we anticipate only a slight chance of thunderstorms for extreme Eastern Ok Monday afternoon or evening.
Another strong system will be approaching by the middle to end of next week with a chance of rain and storms.
Confidence remains high for a major winter snow storm across the northwestern third of the state. Some questions remain regarding the exact track of the upper level system and the impact of snowfall for the Tulsa metro area. A change in the track from north to south by as little as 30 to 50 miles will have a major impact on the snowfall forecast for the Tulsa and surrounding vicinity. Current data supports some accumulating snow in Tulsa by Saturday midday.