Category Archives: Upcoming Weather Event

Powerful storm system bringing unusual weather to Christmas day…

A very strong storm system will be moving northeastward from the Rockies toward the Northern Plains today.  In advance of this system, a very warm and moist air mass has moved northward across Oklahoma.  The Midnight temperature Christmas morning in Okarche was 56 degrees.  The temperature rose to 65 degrees by 6 am – and the dew point was also 65 degrees!  Strong south and southeast winds have been gusting to between 40 and 55 mph across the state.  These are conditions that one would expect to find in the middle of May!

The most significant impacts from this storm system are going to remain north of the state.  A deep cyclone will be tracking from western Nebraska to southeast North Dakota, bringing full scale blizzard conditions to the Dakotas.  As the warm and moist air moves northward, there will be a risk of severe thunderstorms over Kansas and Nebraska.

In Oklahoma, there will also be a low end risk of severe weather this afternoon.  A dryline will be moving rapidly eastward across  the state today.  A narrow line of thunderstorms is expected to form along this feature which will be approaching the Okarche area between 1 and 2 pm.  There will be sufficient moisture and low level shear to support a couple of instances of damaging winds with the storms.  In addition, any sustained area of rotation along the line would be capable of producing a brief tornado.  Even outside of the thunderstorm line, winds will be quite strong across the state today with gusts to 50 mph not uncommon.  As dry air moves into western Oklahoma behind the dryline, fire danger will increase to near extreme levels.

For the record…

Thunder has not been recorded in Okarche on Christmas day before.

The record high low temperature of 50 degrees would be set given the low so far this morning of 56 degrees.  However, temperatures by Midnight will have fallen into the 40′s which will keep that from occurring.

Also, the record high of 74 degrees is not likely to be reached as temperatures with extensive cloud cover will top out around 70 before precipitation arrives.

All in all, it’s going to be a Christmas to remember weatherwise.

First freeze likely upcoming weekend

The average first freeze in Okarche is October 31st.  Last year, the first freeze was three weeks late – coming on November 21st.  We’re not going to miss that by much this year.

A strong cold front will sweep across the state on Friday.  The air behind this front is a little colder than previously expected and a hard freeze now appears likely by Saturday morning across the northwest 2/3′s of the state.  While not as cold as Saturday morning, freezing temperatures are also expected Sunday morning.  In Okarche, a low between 26 and 28 degrees is forecast both mornings.

Leading up to this freeze, temperatures will remain above to well above average.  The weather should be nice – but breezy – for freeze preparations.

4th of July Weather in Okarche

The average high temperature in Okarche on July 4th is 93.7 degrees.  The coolest high temperature was 78 degrees in 1972, the warmest was 108 degrees in 1996.

The average low temperature is 69.8 degrees.  The coolest low temperature was 57 degrees in 1968, the warmest was 78 degrees in 1969, 1980, and 1996.

Precipitation has fallen on about 18 percent of the years.  The most was 2.41 inches in 2005.

Thunder was observed on 6 out of the last 11 years.

The current forecast calls for sunny skies and a high around 90.

Flooding rainfall expected next 48 to 72 hours

An upper low over the Southern Rockies will be moving slowly northeastward this weekend, while abundant moisture moves northward across the Southern and Central Plains.  Thunderstorms are expected to increase across western Oklahoma later today (Saturday) and gradually spread eastward through Monday.  Model precipitation forecasts have varied, but are in general consensus that a lot of rain will be falling across the state.  Some data suggests that 6 to 8 inches could fall in isolated areas.  Flood watches are already in effect and more will likely be needed – as well as flood and flash flood warnings before Monday.

*** Freeze coming ***

After several weeks of above average temperatures, a strong cold front will be moving across Oklahoma on Friday when afternoon temperatures won’t get out of the 40′s.  It is looking likely now that freezing temperatures will occur in Okarche on both Saturday and Sunday mornings.  It is quite possible that a hard freeze could occur.  Almost everything in our garden has decided it is spring.  While precautions will be taken where possible, only time will tell how much of a bite this will have on things.  This seems unusual given the near record amount of warm weather we have been getting, but the average date of last freeze in Okarche is April 6, and our record latest freeze is May 3.

Chance of showers and thunderstorms this evening

3:01 pm CST Wednesday March 2 2016

Satellite imagery this afternoon shows a strong short wave trough moving southeast from the Central Rockies.  Despite limited moisture, there have been a few showers and thunderstorms form near the Kansas/Colorado border.  All higher resolution model guidance suggest that at least scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue to move southeast through the evening, expanding in areal coverage and intensity while passing central Oklahoma.  Total accumulations are not expected to be very high – generally 1/10 of an inch or less – but upward of 1/4 of an inch will be possible as the activity reaches slightly higher moisture over southeast Oklahoma.  In addition, instability will be slightly higher over southeast Oklahoma and some small hail may also be produced.  The storms will be exiting the state just after Midnight.

Extended forecast looking good

Temperatures over the next few days will be generally mild.  The coldest day will be Saturday when we should wake up to temperatures in the 20′s and struggle to get to 50 degrees.  After that, a big warm up is in store for the state.  Model data has been consistent in taking temperatures into the 70′s / and some cases 80′s / for Oklahoma this upcoming week.  It looks as if Okarche could string together about five days straight with temperatures in the 70′s, which would be 15 to 20 degrees above our average high.

Possible record setting day in Okarche / High fire danger

The air mass over the eastern portion of the U.S. is quite cold this morning.  Temperatures in the teens have made it into portions of Alabama and Mississippi.  It is below freezing along the northern shores of Lake Pontchartrain and in Mobile, Alabama.  Temperatures in the 20′s have found their way into northern Florida.  The western edge of this arctic air mass is located over Oklahoma, and despite south winds, temperatures have fallen into the teens and 20′s over much of central and eastern sections of the state.  The low so far in Okarche has been 25 degrees, and this could go lower by sunrise.

This afternoon, surface high pressure will be moving away from the state, and low pressure will be developing over central and eastern Kansas.  This is going to result in increased warm and dry winds from the southwest, and a dramatic warm up.  The forecast high temperature for today is 76 degrees.  It could go higher.  The record high temperature for today is 78 degrees which could very well be reached.

Should the temperature reach 76 degrees, the diurnal range would be 51 degrees.  This would tie for the 4th biggest recorded diurnal range.  This assumes that we don’t drop any further this morning before the warm up starts.  There will likely be 80 degree temperatures in Oklahoma this afternoon.  Should 80 degrees be reached in Okarche, the diurnal range of 55 degrees would tie for the biggest range on record.  55 degrees was seen on December 14, 2008 when the high temperature reached 68 degrees and the low was 13 degrees.

With the warm temperatures will come dry air, gusty winds and increased fire danger.  In some cases, the danger will reach critical levels.  The most likely area to see out of control wildfire spread today will be over central and southwest Oklahoma where a Red Flag Warning has been issued.  This includes the Oklahoma City metro area.

…Major storm with significant impacts Saturday through Monday…

** Anyone using posts from this blog to make decisions that could have life threatening consequences – shouldn’t.  This is only the weather as I see it – keep updated with the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service.

A powerful storm system will pound Oklahoma between Saturday and Monday.  The system will bring flooding rainfall and severe thunderstorms to the southeast third of the state – areas of freezing rain and sleet across central and western Oklahoma – and heavy snow with blizzard conditions to western Oklahoma and the Panhandle.

There are many uncertainties early this Saturday morning.  A strong upper trough is digging southeastward across Arizona at this time, and the wave should close off over southwest Texas by Sunday morning.  The GFS has been the most consistent model concerning the future track of the system, but solutions have wobbled north/south across a 100 mile area over the past several runs.  It appears that the upper low will be somewhere near the Arkansas/Oklahoma border along I-40 at sunrise on Monday.

There are a few things that can be said with greater confidence.  Showers are beginning to develop over southeast Oklahoma and a rapid increase in coverage and intensity is expected through daybreak on Saturday.  Training thunderstorms are likely to generate several inches of rain over a broad area southeast of a Duncan to Jay line through Sunday afternoon.  Localized rainfall may reach 5 to 8 inches, and the threat of flooding will be high.  In addition to the flooding threat, the Storm Prediction Center has painted south central, southeast, and east central Oklahoma with a slight risk of severe thunderstorms.  At least low chances of all facets of severe weather will be possible.

A strong cold front is pushing southward across the High Plains.  This front is expected to pass through Okarche by early afternoon on Saturday.  There is high uncertainty concerning the thermal profile over central Oklahoma after the frontal passage.  In all likelihood, there will be warm layers / mostly missed by model guidance / that wrap around the north side of the storm system, spreading from eastern Oklahoma into central sections of the state.  The profile through the early morning hours of Sunday will likely be one favorable for sleet and freezing rain.  However, low level warm air advection may very well keep precipitation a cold rain through at least Midnight on Monday.  At that time, freezing or frozen precipitation is likely to begin in Okarche.

A mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected from Midnight on Monday to around daybreak.  Near sunrise, precipitation should transition to snow and heavy snow will be possible until about Noon on Monday, tapering off as the upper system lifts away from the state.  Across western Oklahoma, snowfall amounts may reach or exceed 8 inches.  In Okarche, 2 to 4 inches are possible.

Another aspect of this storm that can be predicted with higher confidence is the wind.  By late morning on Saturday, winds will be increasing out of the north across the Panhandle and northwest part of the state.  These strong winds will spread into central Oklahoma by sunset on Saturday.  From that point through Noon on Monday, winds will be sustained between 30 and 40 mph, with gusts to between 50 and 60 mph possible.  This wind will lead to several issues.  1) For areas that see snow, blizzard conditions are expected.  The National Weather Service defines a blizzard as having sustained winds of 35 mph, with a visibility below 1/4 of a mile for at least a three hour period.  It appears these conditions will be met.  2) For any area that sees freezing rain, it will become very easy to bring down power poles/lines – or trees onto the lines.  3) Across central and western Oklahoma / in areas that saw damage from the Thanksgiving ice storm / there are likely compromised poles/lines and trees that have yet to fall.  These will become susceptible in the high winds, and widespread power outages will be possible even if new ice accumulation hasn’t occurred.

Almost every part of Oklahoma will be adversely affected by some part or product of this storm.  In some cases it could be life threatening.  People are strongly encouraged to keep up with weather forecasts and heed warnings.  Anyone planning travel on Sunday or Monday / especially across western Oklahoma and the Panhandle / should reconsider those plans.