Rainfall record set…

The total precipitation in Okarche on January 24th was 0.50 of an inch.  This breaks the old record of 0.09 of an inch set in 2004.  This is also the first significant precipitation to fall in the town since December 19th.

As of Midnight… rain continues to fall and at least another 1/4 inch of precipitation is likely with this event.

Upcoming storm to provide needed rain across the state…

A strong upper system is once again moving into the southwest U.S.  This storm will quickly move into New Mexico on Tuesday where it will begin to slow down and then dig toward southern Texas on Wednesday.

In advance of this system… we are going to have a chance at pulling up quite a bit of low level moisture into the state.  Rain should start by Tuesday morning in the south and spread northward during the afternoon.  Rain in southeast Oklahoma will continue into Wednesday.  With this, there will be a chance at a few thunderstorms… mainly in southern and eastern Oklahoma.

At this point, it looks like generous amounts of rain are possible in the east where totals could range from two to four inches.  Lesser amounts – but still near an inch are possible over the central and west.  All in all, it looks like the first decent shot at significant rain for the state this year.


Powerful storm to affect the state today…

This morning… a powerful upper level storm system is located over New Mexico and Colorado. This system will move very rapidly east northeastward toward the Midwest this afternoon and evening.

In response… a very deep surface low pressure area has developed over western Kansas overnight. This low will move to southeast Iowa by Midnight.

This system – typical of one seen in early Spring – will bring a variety of weather to the Plains, Midwest, and Mississippi Valley.

Surface winds are already increasing in western Texas and New Mexico with gusts to over 50 MPH already noted. A surge of wind with blowing dust will push through western Texas and into western Oklahoma this afternoon. Gusts on the order of 60-70 MPH look likely. Along with the high winds and dry conditions will come extreme fire danger.

As the system starts to move by, a cold front – bringing strong northwest winds will sweep southeastward across the state. Initially, there will be winds gusting to between 50 and 60 MPH associated with this front before they start to quickly settle down around Midnight. This front will be pushing into the Okarche area between 4 and 6 P.M.

In the warm sector… and increase in low level moisture over the Mississippi Valley – combined with the strength of the system and strong deep layer shear – will result in thunderstorms forming by mid-afternoon. These will quickly become severe over Arkansas before spreading/developing east and northeast. A southward progression of development is also likely into Louisiana and Mississippi. These storms will be capable of all facets of severe weather including the chance at strong tornadoes.

On the cold side of things, snow is possible in portions of eastern Nebraska and Iowa – extending northward through the Dakotas and Minnesota. It doesn’t appear that extreme amounts are likely, but winds will be quite gusty which will create near winter storm conditions in those areas.

For Oklahoma… this is going to be an extreme wind producer – but that’s about it. There will be a time this afternoon where fire danger will be extremely high in southwest Oklahoma – possibly extending into the central part of the state. The dangerous fire levels should be confined to Texas.

The thunderstorms will miss us to the east… but this is potentially a dangerous setup for the Mississippi Valley where fast moving supercells – some after dark – will have the capability of producing dangerous tornadoes.

Batten down the hatches! The next 18 hours are going to be a weather observers dream!





Severe weather season not too far away…

It might be because we have not had much of a winter, but it’s hard to believe that the severe weather season will be cranking up during the next few weeks.  National Weather Service spotter talks are scheduled to begin in just a couple of weeks in Oklahoma.

There have already been four January days where tornadoes have occurred somewhere in the U.S.  Today is one of them… recently, a very impressive supercell storm has been tracking through Macon County, Georgia.  This storm had a radar signature strong enough to suggest that a significant tornado was taking place as it passed very close (and just northeast of) Montezuma, GA.


Sky Watchers Alert!

Sunspot 1401 erupted on the 19th, sending out an M3-class flare and CME which appears to be directed toward Earth.

Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab confirm that the CME is heading for Earth, and they say strong geomagnetic storms are possible (although not guaranteed) when the cloud arrives this weekend.  The best guess on timing for the impact would be near and just after sun set on Saturday the 21st.

High latitude aurora events look likely, but if the conditions are right – mid latitude (including as far south as Oklahoma) could also be possible.

Currently, the NAM is forecasting little or no cloud cover during the evening of the 21st across much of west Texas / Oklahoma / and Kansas.  Fingers crossed this holds true.

Otherwise, predicting aurora events in the central/southern plains is pretty much a shot in the dark.  But, the possibility is at least going to be there.



A Golden Day…

The high temperature today (16th) in Okarche was a record setting 70 degrees.  This breaks the old record of 64 degrees which was set in 1996.  A cold front will be bringing much cooler air into the area by Midnight and the high temperature on Tuesday will struggle to reach 40 degrees.  Afterward, we will be heading into the teens on Tuesday night.  Not to worry, warmer air will return by the weekend and we will likely see temperatures well into the 60′s.

Work, holidays and unpleasant weather when we were off work had set us behind on several outdoor activities.  There was a lot of projecting to be done which was finished up with a garden watering as the sun set.

The dogs enjoyed the sunshine and I took the time to grab a few pictures of our GR’s: King (7 1/2 years) / Vegas (7 years) / Duke (3 years).  A Golden day all around….

The youngest - Duke returning a Penguin Vegas having a turn...

King never got the message that he was a retriever... Pretty boy King

Vegas giving the squirrel a fair shot. King and Duke enjoying the sunshine.

Pretty Vegas! Vegas showing her age a little bit... but still good to go.

Duke at rest... King with a little company...

A motley crew.

Fire Weather Concerns Returning To The State…

A cold front will be moving south and southeastward through the plains over the next couple of days.  In advance of this front… winds across the state will become southwesterly and steadily increase in speed.  Little or no increase in moisture is expected over the next 72 hours.

With the southwest winds will come an increase in temperature with highs in the 60′s likely across most of the state on Sunday (15th) and some 70 degree readings possible as winds gain even a more westwardly component on Monday (16th).

The increase in temperature will cause humidity to drop below critical levels – mainly in western Oklahoma on Sunday and across most of the rest of the state on Monday.  The lack of recent precipitation (with the exception of south central and southeast Oklahoma), combined with dormant vegitation will cause fire weather to increase to extreme levels.

At this time, the most dangerous fire weather concerns are expected to be limited to the western border counties on Sunday – but may extend well into central Oklahoma (including the Oklahoma City area) on Monday.

Everyone is encouraged to exercise extreme caution during these critical periods and call 911 immediately upon spotting a fire starting.


First significant weather event of the new year arrives today…

Most of the first ten days of January have seen above normal temperatures as the mild winter continues.  We will get a good taste of winter returning today as a strong cold front blasts through the state.

By noon… the front will be pushing through the Oklahoma City area.  Initially, there will be a strong increase in north winds and steadily falling temperatures.  It appears that there may be a second increase in winds after dark when we may experience north winds sustained between 25 and 30 MPH with gusts over 45 MPH.  By morning the temperature in Okarche will have fallen into the teens.

The temperature will rebound over the weekend, but before then, expect lows in the teens and highs in the 30′s.  While the front will be strong enough to squeeze out light snow flurries, no accumulation is expected.

This morning will be the last chance to enjoy mild air for a couple of days – it might also be a good time to secure any outdoor objects that could be blown around by the strong winds this afternoon and evening.  I know we have left a few things laying around over the last couple of weeks while not having to worry about extreme cold, precipitation, or even wind.