Archive for December, 2008

The Monday Storm…
December 31, 2008

It’s the “buzz” today…the potential storm on Monday.  If you frequent the computer model websites, then you have certainly noticed the inconsistent model solutions regarding the Monday/Tuesday time period.  This is not surprising, since we are looking 5-6 days out.  It’s easy to get frustrated, but take my word for it–don’t waste that extra second you get today on that.

I can point out forecasts that show OKC getting the following:  nothing at all, mixed precipitation, flurries, and over six inches of snow (no–that’ s not the official forecast–that’s how rumors get started!)   When the models get this funky, you need to go beyond what the precipitation output map says, and look at the bigger picture.  We know that there’s a storm system that will move out toward a cold airmass.  We will watch for the differences in both features–the cold air and the upper storm to see exactly how this sets up. 

Here are the factors to watch over the next few days…. 

1)  Temperatures:   The cold air is up there and it’s going to move in.  What we will need to watch is the depth of the cold air.  For a heavy snow event, we need the entire column to be at or below freezing.   Our best snows occur with temperatures from the mid 20s to the low 30s.  Generally, when it gets very cold around here, it also gets very dry. 

Based on what I’m seeing right now, we should have the cold air in place.  It will get more shallow as we get into southcentral/southeastern Oklahoma.

2)  Moisture:    A lot of storms look good a few days out, then we get too dry in the lower levels of the atmosphere.  We’re not just talking about the surface, but from 10,000 feet and below.  Today’s 12z GFS does just that–shoves all moisture/moisture transport into Texas, keeping us dry.  Earlier runs had better moisture for us.  Based on what I have seen today, and the past few days, I still like a a 40% (pop) for Monday, and a 30% for Tuesday.  Higher chances exist for southern Oklahoma, lower for northern Oklahoma.

3)  Track, speed and intensity of the upper storm.  Again–model forecasts vary from swinging out of the southwest directly over Oklahoma, and passing well to our south over central/southern Texas.  The closer it is, the higher the impact.  A faster storm limits the window for precipitation.  A strong storm increases the lift. 

Based on everything that I’ve seen so far, here’s my current call:

Northwest Oklahoma:  coldest air, most likely area for all snow, but also has least available moisture, so would overall has the lowest chance for precipitation

Southwest/central/northeastern Oklahoma:  could see the perfect combination of all of the above–and needs to watch the above factors carefully.  Even though the 12z computer models (minus the European that isn’t here yet) don’t show it, the trends are there to support an accumulating snow in this area Monday-early Tuesday.

Southeastern Oklahoma:  appears to be mainly rain.  If that storm track is further south *and* the cold air is deep enough, then southeastern Oklahoma could get hit hard by snow.  This area could also see some sleet.

Bottom line–it’s still five to six days way.  It will change.  It certainly has our attention.  Give this thing another day or two on the models–enjoy your New Year’s and we’ll talk more about it over the next few days…



Ending 2008
December 31, 2008

It will be colder across the state today.

graphic114Our cold front from yesterday is pushing into the Gulf of Mexico. High pressure will give us north-northeast winds today. So, it’s out with the 60s and in with the 40s.


Keep in mind, average high for OKC is 47 degrees–so this cold front is nothing more than a reality check. And, as the high pressure continues to slide east tonight and tomorrow, south winds will return which will warm us back up. We’ll be back in the 50s for highs tomorrow. It will be breezy enough tomorrow to elevate the fire danger.

graphic31By late tomorrow, our next cold front will move in. This one won’t be as strong, and will cool us from 54 tomorrow to 52 on Friday (so we’ll still be above average).

The big story is still the storm for early next week. More on that later…


Making Every Second Count
December 31, 2008

2008 was of course a “leap year”.  We now have the added bonus of adding a “leap second” today.  The extra second will be added at 23:59:59 UTC, which is 5:59:59 here at home.  So, we get an extra day and an extra second this year.

The reason for the extra second is to synchronize the atomic clocks.  These “official” clocks can’t account for the fact that the earth’s rotation is slowing down just a bit to the moon’s gravity.  So, every few years, we add an extra second to make up the difference.  This keeps the atomic clocks accurate.

The last leap second was December 31, 2005.


Early Next Week
December 30, 2008


We’re keeping an eye on a developing storm system from late Sunday through Tuesday. It doesn’t look to be a very cold airmass in place, and moisture may be somewhat limited. That being said, it looks like a light mix of rain and snow is possible. Perhaps for OKC, light snow in the mornings of Monday and Tuesday and light rain in the afternoons.


2008 Rain Recap–UPDATED
December 30, 2008

Well here it is….the final tally to the rainfall totals for the the year 2008!!  We were very close to average but the last few months have been painfully dry.  It was nice to get about a half of inch of rain last weekend in the metro.  Drumroll…..





Have a safe and Happy New Year!!



Cold Front Today…
December 30, 2008

Temperatures are starting out pretty nice this morning!  We are in the 40s in the metro with a few cool spots here and there across the state.  Highs today will be in the mid 60s before a front moves through the area.  Here is a look at where the front will be at noon. 


 Once it does though…temps will be dropping and it will cooler pretty fast!  Temps will be in the low 50s by 5pm and with a North wind…that will be wind chills in the 40s.   By 6pm…the front will have made it across the state and into Texas. 


Winds will be breezy ahead of and behind the front.  The Fire threat will be Very High today but Red Flag warnings are not expected.  A series of cold fronts will be pushing across the area over the next few days so the fire danger remains high into the weekend. 


The weather looks good for the big game in San Diego!! 




December to Remember
December 29, 2008

It’s been a crazy December temperature wise. We’ve had some big swings, some in just a few hours. I knew we had some very cold mornings, but we’ve also had some very warm afternoons this month as well. I grabbed the climate report for the month so far, and discovered a few interesting things.


Can you believe that 1/3 of our afternoon highs were in the 60s and 70s! The afternoons have been very warm. Of course we had that 76 on the 26th that was a record. On the flip side, our mornings have been about where they should be, with 1/2 of the lows in the 20s.

So, on average, we’ve had cool mornings, but warm afternoons. The reasons: 1. Many fast moving cold fronts with relatively little precip. 2. Strong south winds and dry air allowing fast warmups. 3. Clear skies. low humidity. 4. The jet stream staying well to our north allowing modified Pacific air to dominate the region rather than colder Canadian air.


Up and Down..
December 29, 2008

Our up and down temperatures continue today.  We are starting off the day in the 30s but later today we are expecting temperatures to top off in the mid 60s!! 



Tomorrow will be mild as well but a cold front will move through during the afternoon hours.  This will make things feel cooler into the late afternoon/early evening hours.  Wednesday…which is New Years Eve..will much cooler.  Highs will stay in the 40s.  Here is a look. 



Go Pokes!
December 28, 2008

The weather will certainly cooperate!    If you’re going to San Diego, here’s the forecast for the week ahead and for the game.  The game will start at 5pm Pacific time.  The main problem through Friday will be late night and early morning fog.  Sunset Tuesday evening will be just before kickoff.  Have fun!


Quiet Transition
December 28, 2008

Our transition from 2008 to 2009 will be a quiet one.

graphic112The jet stream won’t be perfectly smooth like in the graphic. Instead, there will be small to medium size storm systems that will essentially bring “bumps” of cold air into the southern Plains.

graphic212We will see cold fronts move in late Tuesday, late Thursday and perhaps another one next weekend. We won’t have time to get moisture in here to interact with the fronts to produce rain, so we’re keeping the forecast dry. We will have to watch the fire danger–it will get pretty high when the winds increase ahead of and behind the fronts.