High temperature records

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week saw beautiful weather across Oklahoma with highs reaching into the 70′s and 80′s.  The incredible stretch of weather wasn’t confined to the state as high temperature records were common west of the Mississippi River.  128 records across 17 states were set on those three days.  Several locations set all time records for the month of January.

Outlook (Thursday-Sunday)

A cold front has moved across the state, putting an end to the spring-like weather we have seen over the last several days.  Thursday will see temperatures closer to average with gusty north winds.

There are two items of interest that will have an impact on Oklahoma’s weather over the weekend.  Unfortunately, there are considerable differences between the GFS and ECMWF – resulting in a complicated forecast.

The first item of interest is a short wave trough which will be located over Southern British Columbia early on Saturday.  This wave will be moving southeastward, dislodging a chunk of cold air that will begin moving southward across the Plains.  The GFS is considerably stronger with this wave than the ECMWF, causing the model to be much more aggressive with the cold air plunge.  However, the GFS has not been very consistent with this scenario – and for that reason, I tend to lean toward the ECMWF solution.

The other area of interest is an upper low that will be over Southern California early on Saturday.  While this low is not expected to make much eastward progress over the weekend, a couple of shortwave troughs are expected to eject from the low and approach the Southern Plains.  These will be generating lift, causing precipitation from early on Saturday through Sunday afternoon.

The best chances of precipitation will be over the Panhandle and southern half of the state.  Rainfall amounts over 1/2 inch will be possible in these areas – with 1/4 to 1/2 inch elsewhere.  Should the GFS solution verify, 1 to 2 inches of snow would be possible across Northern Oklahoma before the precipitation ended.  Again, this is not the preferred model solution at this hour.

Okarche Weather:

Thursday morning: 39

Thursday: 52

Friday morning: 31

Friday: 50

Saturday morning: 37 / Light rain possible

Saturday: 47 / Rain likely

Sunday morning: 34 / Light rain possible

Sunday: 45 / Slight chance of light showers

PRECIPITATION CHANCES THROUGH SUNDAY:

CHANCE OF 0.01 INCH – 100%

CHANCE OF 0.10 INCH – 100%

CHANCE OF 0.50 INCH – 50%

CHANCE OF 1.00 INCH – 5%

CHANCE OF 2.00 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 3.00 INCH – 0%

SNOWFALL CHANCES THROUGH SUNDAY:

CHANCE OF 1 INCH – 2%

CHANCE OF 3 INCHES – 0%

CHANCE OF 5 INCHES – 0%

CHANCE OF 7 INCHES – 0%

Outlook (Monday-Wednesday)

A deep trough of low pressure will be located over the eastern part of the U.S. to start the week.  The axis of an upper ridge over the Rockies will migrate eastward across the Plains, bringing much above average temperatures to the state.  The ridge will start to flatten on Wednesday as a short wave trough passes across the Central Plains and Midwest.

Dry weather will persist across Oklahoma through Wednesday.

Westerly or southerly winds will be found over the state on Monday and Tuesday and temperatures will be warm.  On Wednesday, a weak front will be moving across the state, but the air behind it is not expected to be very cold.  In fact, Wednesday could be the warmest day through mid week where southwest winds will be found ahead of the boundary.

Okarche Weather:

Monday morning: 31

Monday: 70

Tuesday morning: 42

Tuesday: 75

Wednesday morning: 49

Wednesday: 79

PRECIPITATION CHANCES THROUGH WEDNESDAY:

CHANCE OF 0.01 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 0.10 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 0.50 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 1.00 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 2.00 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 3.00 INCH – 0%

SNOWFALL CHANCES THROUGH WEDNESDAY:

CHANCE OF 1 INCH – 0%

CHANCE OF 3 INCHES – 0%

CHANCE OF 5 INCHES – 0%

CHANCE OF 7 INCHES – 0%

Windy / Fire Danger – Sunday

A strong upper wave is moving quickly southeastward across the Central and Northern Plains late Saturday.  This system will continue to swing southeast toward the Mid Mississippi Valley on Sunday.  A cold front is now moving across Northwest Oklahoma, and winds have shifted to the northwest and are becoming gusty.  The front will be past Oklahoma by daybreak on Sunday.  In its wake, winds will be quite strong / gusting 40 to 50 mph.  No arctic air is associated with this front, and temperatures on Sunday will be mild.  The combination of low humidity and strong winds will create high to very high fire danger.

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2

Comet Lovejoy has been the target of many telescopes and cameras over the last month.  Apparently it was visible to the naked eye last week, but not to MY eyes.  It has reached its peak and will be losing brightness from here on.

Because it wasn’t visible to the naked eye, I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into this one.  This evening, I decided to step out back and shoot with just my standard 80-200mm zoom.  It came out better than I thought.  The tail was more visible in the images than I figured it would be.  An airplane was passing in this image, it might give a little perspective… might.