I felt it coming on over the weekend, and now I have my first cold of the season. Luckily, it’s not that bad. Although between me and other members of my family, we’ve gone through several boxes of Kleenex. I made it through most of the cold and flu season before obtaining this virus. Plenty of hand washing and healthy eating maybe bought me some time. In any case, it’s not bad enough for me to stay home, so on with the show.
My morning weather analysis shows a small area of low pressure located over central Oklahoma. This low will move east quickly today. Its only purpose will be to shift winds into the northwest (that means blowing from the northwest) across the state. While there may be a few gusts over 20 mph this morning, the winds will not be much of a factor today. In fact, the afternoon will be pleasant with lots of sunshine and highs in the 60s.
Tuesday will see low pressure develop to our west. That in turn will bring our afternoon wind speeds up to 15-25 mph out of the southeast. We’ll have a good deal of sunshine and temperatures will be mild in the mid to upper 60s.
The low pressure to our west is in response to an upper level storm system that will be moving into the Plains on Wednesday. This upper system is not as concentrated as the one that moved through over the weekend, but some ingredients will be in place for some thunderstorms to develop late Wednesday into Wednesday night. Severe weather can’t be ruled out.
This is the day three severe weather risk from the Storm Prediction Center valid on Wednesday:
It shows the best potential for severe weather to be well of the east of OKC. While I originally agreed with that position, a closer look into the 12 z run of the NAM shows that the potential for severe weather could be a bit farther west.
This image is valid at 6 pm Wednesday:
It shows the NAM is predicting dewpoint temperatures of near 60 degrees into central Oklahoma, with a lifted index of -8. The lifted index is a measure of the stability of the atmosphere. The lower the number, the more unstable the atmosphere is. Values less than zero are usually required for severe thunderstorms.
Here is the same model, only for midnight Thursday morning:
Again, it shows decent surface moisture and instability right along I-35. So does mean severe weather for central Oklahoma? Well, I have to wonder if the NAM isn’t a bit optimistic with the moisture return. And if that is the case, it may also be overplaying the instability. What is interesting is that the NAM does not break out thunderstorms over central Oklahoma, but rather in eastern parts of the state.
The bottom line is that we already have thunderstorm chances in the forecast for late Wednesday, and they will likely stay there. Of course we’ll adjust the forecast as it becomes clearer what will actually happen.
Thursday through Sunday look quiet and cooler with highs mostly in the low to mid 50s, although a return to 60s is likely by Sunday.
A reminder to those of you attending the severe weather conference this weekend in Norman. I will be speaking at 10:30 Friday morning on how KOCO prepares for severe weather. I’m working on a presentation that will hopefully be informative and entertaining. If you don’t get a chance to see it at the conference, I going to try and have it posted on the website so all can have a look.
I am also working out the last details of my latest web project that I will debut next Monday morning. Stay tuned for more information.
I hope you have a great Monday. Don’t forget to check in on Eyewitness News 5 at 5, 6 and 10 pm.