A cold and challenging forecast is what lies ahead of us. The general theme remains cold with periods of wintry precipitation. The details are what will be hard.
TODAY: The sunshine is deceiving this morning as temperatures are only in the teens and 20s most areas. Temperatures will run about 10-12 colder than yesterday with afternoon highs in the 30s to low 40s. Clouds will gradually increase this afternoon.
TONIGHT: Dry and cold as temperatures fall into the teens and 20s. Winds will gradually become southerly, which will help to warm us slowly tomorrow.
TOMORROW: This is where it gets tricky. A warm advection pattern sets up over the state as surface pressures drop to our west in response to an approaching upper low. While the day will start off cold, temperatures will warm above freezing by afternoon. At the same time, precipitation breaks out across the west and moves east. At that point it will likely still be cold enough for snow. But as temperatures climb, the snow will change over to rain in the central and south, but stay as snow in the far north. All of the precip will be on the light side.
TOMORROW NIGHT: The light precip will continue as the upper low approaches the southern Plains, mainly as snow in the north, a mix of rain and snow central, and mainly rain south. Temperatures will only slowly fall as warm to neutral advection continues.
THURSDAY: Some cold air advection finally kicks in, changing any rain or freezing rain over to snow across central and southern Oklahoma. As the upper low weakens and moves east, the precip gradually ends from west to east. Accumulations will likely be heaviest where it snows the longest in the north. There will likely be enough snow to cause some travel problems.
FRIDAY: The next wave of cold air moves across the state. This will be the most impressive shot of cold air so far with temperatures on Friday staying in the 20s and wind chills in the single digits. There will also be some light snow or flurries, especially in the upslope areas in the west.
THE WEEKEND: More of the same…..very cold with a few bouts of light snow or flurries. Highs only in the 20s and lows in the teens and single digits.
WHAT TO WATCH: The models always have serious issues with cold air. They struggle to get a handle on just how cold it is, how fast it will move, and how long it will stick around. We’ve been saying that once it arrives, the cold air will be here for a couple of weeks. Watch how the models will try to bring an end to the cold by mid-next week. It won’t happen. The cold is here to stay through at least mid February.