Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

The large upper trough which has been in control over the Central and Eastern U.S. over the last many days will flatten and lift northeastward by Friday.  A long wave trough will become established over the Western U.S. and there will be short wave troughs ejecting across the Plains through the weekend.  For the first time in several weeks, organized areas of precipitation will enter the forecast.

A cold front is currently located over Nebraska, and this front will be dropping south through Thursday morning.  The front will begin to pass across Northwest Oklahoma around Noon, and Central Oklahoma by sunset.  In advance of the front, temperatures will warm nicely across Southwest Oklahoma, with temperatures above normal expected into the central sections of the state.  The combination of low humidity, and gusty southwest winds will elevate fire danger on Thursday – especially across Southwest Oklahoma.

The front will slow its southward progress late Thursday and become nearly stationary from south of Lawton to near Fort Smith early Friday.  There will be some big differences in temperature across the state Friday morning with 40′s expected across the southeast and 20′s over the northwest.

By late Friday, a short wave trough will be moving across Oklahoma and this will get the front moving south again.  In addition, light snow is expected to develop across Northern Oklahoma and showers across the eastern part of the state.  Mild air over Southeast Oklahoma early Saturday will be pushed out by the front by Noon.

Saturday and Sunday will both be cold days across the state.  Another short wave trough will be passing over the state on Sunday.  By daybreak, snow is expected to develop over the Texas Panhandle and Northwest Texas.  This snow will spread east northeastward over southern and possibly central sections of the state.  Accumulating snow is possible.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 28

Thursday: 60

Friday morning: 28

Friday: 43

Saturday morning: 25

Saturday: 35

Sunday morning: 21

Sunday: 27 / Snow possible

January 27/28 Snowfall

We woke up to almost an inch of snow on the ground this morning in Okarche, and that was common across a large part of Central and Northwest Oklahoma.  There were no significant amounts with most of the metro area seeing around 1/2 inch of snow.  Piedmont came in with the most of Central Oklahoma at 1.0 inch.  Northwest sections of Beaver County in the Panhandle saw the most snow with amounts around 2 inches.

Did you know it’s warmer in Alaska?

012814aEvery year, there are usually a couple of times during the winter where very cold air will be in place across Oklahoma, and someone will bring up the fact that it’s warmer in Alaska than it is here.  This is quite common with TV meteorologists who generally leave it at that and seldom explain why that is.

I guess there is the assumption that Alaska is “way up north” where it’s always cold, and should always generally be colder than it could ever get in Oklahoma.  The fact is, there is a fairly simple explanation for what causes these differences in temperatures at times.  And not only is it not rare for this to occur, but it occurs every year – sometimes several times a year.

If it’s cold here, you can bet it’s warm somewhere else.  Cold air intrusions at the surface are driven by large scale upper systems.  As for the recent case, a strong upper vortex has been centered over Southeast Canada and this has helped drive cold air southward which now covers most of the Central and Eastern U.S.  West of the influence of this vortex is a high pressure ridge which lies near the west coast and noses northward into Alaska.  To its west, another storm system has colder air located over the Pacific.

While narrow, the ridge which extends into Alaska is quite strong and has resulted in numerous high temperature records over the past few days.  Yes, it is currently warmer in parts of Alaska than it is in Oklahoma.  But don’t be surprised if that happens again – several times this season – and many seasons to come.

A Deep South Winter Storm

012714b

Cold air has invaded the Deep South once again, and this time it will have some significant winter weather associated with it.  While not completely unheard of, it is a little unusual to see Winter Storm Warnings include: Houston, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Hattiesburg, Mobile, Montgomery, Tallahassee, Augusta, and Charleston.

Precipitation will increase through tonight across a widespread area from Texas to Virginia, with a mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow expected throughout Wednesday.  Before it is over, snow will be falling across the northern waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

012714aA large trough of low pressure will remain in place across the eastern half of the U.S. through Wednesday.  Waves embedded in the flow have allowed very strong arctic air surges to extend southward across the Plains.  It will be quite cold across Oklahoma on Monday and Tuesday, before a brief warming trend starts on Wednesday.

A cold front blasted across the state late Sunday.  Highs across Central Oklahoma on Monday won’t get out of the 20′s.  The cold air will remain in place on Tuesday, and a weak upper wave will cause considerable cloudiness and some light snow / mainly across Central and Northwest Oklahoma /.  It does not appear that there will be significant accumulations.

As the surface ridge of high pressure shifts east, and pressures lower across the High Plains on Wednesday, winds will become quite strong out of the southwest.  This will help to raise temperatures across Western Oklahoma, but the cold air will take most of the day exiting central and eastern sections of the state.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 18

Monday: 27

Tuesday morning: 14 / Light snow possible

Tuesday: 28

Wednesday morning: 19

Wednesday: 41

At least some of the state has seen recent precipitation

012414b012414aDuring the early morning hours of Thursday, January 23rd – snow fell across the western and central parts of the Oklahoma Panhandle.  Two inches of snow was reported at Felt, OK.  The snow stayed on the ground through Thursday as high temperatures were generally in the 20′s.  The snow cover was evident on this morning’s satellite imagery, but quickly melted by afternoon.  People that woke up with snow saw highs today in the mid 50′s.

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

It may sound like a broken record, but once again, no significant change in the weather pattern is expected through the weekend.  There will be an upper vortex centered over Southeast Canada and the Great Lakes with continued northwest flow extending from Canada to the East Coast.  Embedded short wave troughs will make cold fronts a frequent visitor to the Plains, but limited moisture will result in little or no precipitation.

Fire danger will remain elevated / highest during periods of strong winds / but no exceptional days are evident in the forecast through Sunday.

The return of very cold weather will be the primary weather story over the next several days.

The first cold front to visit the state is currently passing across Northern Oklahoma.  Very cold temperatures and wind chill readings below zero will be found across the state Thursday morning.  There will be some light snow over the Panhandle during the morning hours.  There will be a bit of a warm up across Western Oklahoma on Friday as low level flow becomes westerly.  On Saturday, temperatures across the state will be closer to seasonal normal.  A weak cold front will pass across the state on Sunday, with a reinforcing shot of very cold air expected by Monday.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 14

Thursday: 23

Friday morning: 12

Friday: 46

Saturday morning: 27

Saturday: 61

Sunday morning: 32

Sunday: 64

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

In general, there will not be any big changes to the overall weather pattern through the middle of the week.  A broad upper level circulation will be centered near or just east of Hudson Bay with strong northwest flow extending from Western Canada to the Eastern U.S.  Embedded in the flow will be short wave troughs which will keep cold fronts heading southward across the Central and Eastern U.S.

A weak cold front will be pushing across the state on Monday.  Slightly cooler air and gusty north winds will filter in behind the front.  The air will continue to be very dry and there will be a period of high fire danger / especially across Southwest Oklahoma / during the afternoon.

A reinforcing surge of cold air will enter the state Monday night, and it will be quite cold across Oklahoma on Tuesday morning.  While a warm up is in store across the Panhandle and west, Tuesday afternoon should see cooler than normal temperatures across the eastern part of the state.

Yet another front will move across the state on Wednesday and temperatures will range from near normal across the southwest to slightly below normal across the east.

From late Wednesday to early Thursday, very cold arctic air will surge into Oklahoma dropping temperatures to well below normal.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 34

Monday: 58

Tuesday morning: 25

Tuesday: 36

Wednesday morning: 23

Wednesday: 49