Archive for November, 2008

OKC December Snow
November 30, 2008

Welcome to December weather fans!  Hard to believe we are in the final month of the year.  You may agree, December is the fastest month of the year if you are an adult.  It’s the slowest month of the year if you are a youngster who can’t wait to rip open your presents on Christmas.

One thing that adds to holiday spirit is snow.  Here is some snow information for Oklahoma City:


You may recall that November 30, 2006 brought over 4 inches of snow to the OKC metro area.  Blizzard warnings were in effect for parts of Oklahoma, and many schools were cancelled.  The next day the sun came out and the melting process was underway.

No snow is in our forecast for the next seven days.



Hurricane Season 2008
November 30, 2008

Today is the last day of the Atlantic hurricane season.  NOAA just released the summary of the 2008 hurricane season.  Here are some of the talking points:

  • There was a total of 16 named storms (tropical storms/hurricanes).  That includes 8 hurricanes, 5 of which were major.  An average season has 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes–2 of which are major.
  • Out of the past 14 hurricane seasons, ten have featured above normal activity.
  • This season is tied as the fourth most active in terms of named storms.
  • This season is also tied for fourth when it comes to major hurricanes (cat 3 or higher).
  • This season came in fifth for number of hurricanes.
  • For the first time on record, six consecutive tropical systems made landfall on the U.S. mainland.  That would include Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike.
  • Three major hurricanes struck Cuba–Gustav, Ike and Paloma.
  • This was the first Atlantic season to record a major hurricane in five straight months.  We saw Bertha in July, Gustav in August, Ike in September, Omar in October and Paloma in November.

Had enough yet?  There’s more…

  • Bertha was a tropical system for 17 days in July.  It’s the longest-lived July storm on record. 
  • Fay made landfall in Florida four times.  That’s a record.  Fay also caused tropical weather watches and warnings to be issued at some point for everywhere on the Florida coast.
  • Paloma was the second strongest November hurricane on record with 145 mph winds.

Again–all of these statistics came from NOAA.  They attribute the above normal activity to a lingering La Nina, which decreased wind shear, and warm ocean temperatures (a degree above normal).

It all starts again in six months…


Wanted: Less Wind, More Rain!
November 30, 2008

I wanted to start off by updating the Wind Advisory map. This will go until 6pm tonight for sustained northwest winds from 20-35 mph, with gusts to 40 mph:

awall43With afternoon temperatures in the 40s and 50s, that wind will keep the wind chills in the 30s. Some upper level energy will move across the state . That will keep up partly to mostly cloudy throughout the day. And we could see some very light precipitation:

awall114This is Predictor for later this afternoon. You can see a few sprinkles over central and eastern Oklahoma. I couldn’t rule out a few snow flurries, but it won’t be a big deal. Most of us will stay dry not just today, but for the next week. The wind will diminish a bit by tonight, but with lows from the upper 20s to low 30s Monday morning, wind chills will end up in the 10s. Everyone will need to bundle up heading out the door Monday morning. Our cool-down will last through Monday.

awall214Tuesday will feature a southwest wind. It will be windy and much warmer. Most of us will be in the 60s on Tuesday, but there will likely be some 70s mixed in there. The fire danger will be very high on Tuesday, especially in western Oklahoma. Tuesday’s a great day to get that car wash done before the weather turns again on Wednesday.

awall311Our next front will get here Wednesday bringing more cold air with it. Rain chances are slim to none with this front. Temperatures will remain cold for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Will Rogers World Airport recorded 7/10ths of an inch of rain this month. Average is just over two inches. Since September 1st, they’ve seen 2.92 inches of rain, when the average is 9.67. If we keep getting these dry, windy fronts, the fire weather threat will start to become a major issue. We need rain–soon.



Wind and Travel Weather for Sunday
November 29, 2008

Looks like a windy and cold Sunday ahead.  Wind Advisories are posted for western Oklahoma and High Wind Watches are posted for the panhandle. 


Travel may be a bit tough on Sunday….especially across the eastern third of the country.  Here close to home…we may see a few light showers on the back side of the low that is pushing east.  Clouds will be in and out of the forecast as well.  Across the country we will see the heaviest snow in northern Michigan but flurries are possible all the way down to Missouri and Eastern Kansas.  Rain will be possible from eastern Oklahoma to the East Coast, the airport hubs along the east coast and across the Midwest and Ohio Valley…will be the biggest struggle to get out of.    


Stay warm!!


Oklahoma…Where The Wind Comes Sweepin’ Down…
November 29, 2008

Most of us are cloudy this morning.  The exception is the northwest–which is only fair because the northwest was stuck in the cloud cover yesterday while the rest of us had sunny skies.  I think as we go through the day, we’ll see some sunshine in OKC.  By late afternoon, we expect partly cloudy skies with highs in the low 50s.

Today will be the best day of the weekend.  Here’s the map for tomorrow:

awall113You can see the storm in the east that we’ve been talking about.  There will be snow on the back side of the storm, but right now it does not appear to be a heavy snow.  The rain will be heavy in parts of the southeast.  It’s not out of the question that we have some sprinkles or flurries around tomorrow, but that should be it–a few sprinkles or a few flurries.

The big story for tomorrow will be the wind:


Some of these numbers are likely too low.  We could see sustained winds at or above 30 mph, and the gusts will be higher than that.

awall310The High Wind Watch is for 30-40 mph sustained winds, and gusts from 50-55 mph.  Keep in mind–temperatures will be in the 40s to low 50s, so the wind chill will be pretty nasty tomorrow afternoon.  The strong winds will diminish tomorrow night and Monday.  Strong winds will return for Tuesday, but this time they’ll be out of the southwest.  Tuesday afternoon we should be very close to 70 degrees.


Some Are, Some Aren’t…
November 28, 2008

As Rick mentioned, there is that hole in the cloud cover.  So, for the better chunk of the day, instead of being mostly cloudy, we’ve seen mostly sunny skies in central Oklahoma.  Here are the mid-afternoon temperatures:


What’s interesting is that even with the sunshine, we’re still close to the numbers we expected to see in central Oklahoma.  Northwestern Oklahoma is cold, with temperatures around 40.  On the other hand, some areas under that sunshine are approaching 60. 

Enjoy the break from the clouds–they will return as we go into tonight. 


Where Are My Clouds???
November 28, 2008

Yesterday, as I was preparing my forecast for today, I envisioned a rather cloudy day with temperatures in the low 50s for highs.  Well low and behold, there’s not a cloud in the sky over the metro.  Nothing but bright sunshine!  That’s not to say that all of Oklahoma is cloud-free.  In fact, there are more people under a deck of clouds than there are enjoying sunshine.

Here is the midday satellite picture:

rickNotice the clear area stretching from the southwest through the northeast.  Overcast skies are the rule in the northwest and the southeast.

Those that have the sunshine should enjoy it for the rest of the afternoon, while the cloudy areas will likely remain cloudy.


That Thanksgiving Weekend Storm…
November 28, 2008

If you think back over the years, there’s usually some storm that takes an already difficult travel situation and makes it just plain awful.  You know the pictures–people sleeping in the airport, de-icer being sprayed on planes, and tempers flaring.  I tend to keep Thanksgiving close to home–we drive wherever we’re going.  Most of our family is located within a state that touches Oklahoma, so there’s not much advantage to flying.

The lucky winners this year will be those going east on Sunday.  Let me snow–I mean show you the weather maps:

awall112You can see the big trough in the east and the big ridge in the west.  The west will be rather mild and for the most part will be dry.  The east will see cold air pour in.  We will get colder as we go through the weekend, with the coldest air settling in for Sunday.  Sunday looks windy and colder with a high of 47 in OKC (and a wind chill to go along with that).

awall212There will be snow throughout parts of the midwest on Sunday.  This snow forecast includes Chicago–so that’s O’Hare and Midway.  Rain will hit the aiports at Atlanta, Washington D.C., and New York City, among others.  So, if you’re heading to the airport to pick someone up, or if you’re getting on a plane, you need to check ahead.


Not Enough Rain…
November 28, 2008

We’ve seen showers across the state during the overnight hours, and will likely see some showers in the southcentral/southeastern part of the state this morning.  Some of the rain started off as sleet in far northwestern Oklahoma, and radar indicated some snow in the Panhandle.  No travel problems were reported.

All of the activity has been light.  That’s a problem because we really need a good steady rain.  Here’s a look at the latest drought monitor:


As you can see, we are seeing abnormally dry conditions across central and southcentral Oklahoma, and moderate drought conditions in the southeast. 

We will see another upper level system swing across the plains late tonight and Saturday.  Like this morning, showers will be possible.  Once that moves out, we will go dry for several days.  The fire danger will remain high, especially on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday when we will see stronger winds.  The fire danger is usually high in the winter because the vegetation is dead, we tend to see less precipitation in the winter, and we see stronger winds.  But, not receiving rain just adds fuel to the fire. 

What we need is a healthy, slow-moving storm to move out of the southwest and across the southern Plains.   I don’t see that coming any time soon…


Happy Turkey Day!!
November 27, 2008

Its a bit chilly as you head out in some areas.  Temps are starting off in the 20s in Northern Oklahoma.  Southern Oklahoma feeling a few degrees milder but still a little chilly this morning…  We will see increasing clouds across the state today.  A few showers are possible overnight tonight and into tomorrow morning. 



Don’t forget to bundle up if your headed to the big game this weekend!!  Temperatures will likely be dropping into the 30s by halftime!!