Archive for January, 2009

A Cool Sunday
January 31, 2009

We hit 67 at the airport today…and there were many locations that got into the 70s in western Oklahoma.  Our average high is 50!   Lows tonight will be in the mid 30s tonight but we are not going to warm up too much tomorrow.  Temperatures will get up to about 52, but when the front pushes through and the winds pick up…it is going to feel much cooler into the afternoon. 


Monday will be a bit chilly as well…starting off in the 20s and warming up into the cool 40s. 


Have a great Sunday!!




Ice Storm Viewed from Above
January 31, 2009

NASA’s MODIS satellites captured this image of Oklahoma yesterday.  There are some clouds to the east of Tulsa, but the white swath across Oklahoma is snow and ice leftover from last week’s winter storm.  Eufaula Lake in eastern Oklahoma is clearly visible among the snow/ice, as is Lake Thunderbird to the southeast of OKC; neither are frozen in this image.  You can see the diagonal streaks left by individual storms that dumped the wintry mix.  In this image, the snow/ice starts near Vernon, TX and stretches into southwestern Missouri; impacting OKC, Tulsa, and large portions of I-35 and I-40.  This is an interesting image to see who got it and who didn’t!janicestorm_ok_aerialThis image was generated with Google Earth.  For a more scientific exploration of using satellite to interpret last week’s event, check out this blog: .


Dry January
January 31, 2009

Will Rogers World Airport saw .43″ of precipitation in January.  I can write that this morning, because it’s a sure bet we won’t see rain today.  All of that precipitation occurred during the ice storm.  Average precipitation for January is 1.28″, so it goes without saying that we fell short.

We went into the ice storm with severe drought in southwestern/southcentral Oklahoma.  That classification could change a bit when we receive the new drought monitor next Thursday.  But, with the exception of the ice storm, it’s been dry and we are entering another stretch of dry weather.

There’s a point to all of this…

graphic132A Fire Weather/Red Flag Warning is in effect for this afternoon.  Gusty southwest winds will lower the humidity this afternoon and will raise the temperature, all of which will enhance the fire danger.  The good news is that we should melt any remaining ice in central Oklahoma with a high of 70 degrees.  That’s not a record, but it will feel nice.

We are tracking a cold front that will move through early Sunday morning.  It won’t bring rain, but it will bring colder temperatures for Sunday.


High Fire Danger Saturday…
January 30, 2009

Saturday will be one of those warm and very windy days.  The Fire danger will be high, particularly in western Oklahoma.  Here is a look. 


Highs will be well above average. 


A cold front will move through on Sunday…that will cool things off quite a bit.  Temps will get into the 50s but it will be getting cooler with temperatures in the 40s by the afternoon. 



Melting ice, finally!
January 30, 2009

Thankfully it’s been nice and warm yesterday and today to help melt the ice all over the roads and parking lots!  The ice is melting everywhere, but some still remains in areas that are in the shade.  Here’s a Mesonet temperature graphic from 3:35 p.m.:


You can see the temperature gradient on the graphic-below the 60 degree line is where the “glacier” of ice still remains.  The visible satellite graphic shows the ice that’s still left on the ground that corresponds with the temperature graphic:

That whole swath of grey is ice!!  Notice how the coldest temperature areas correspond with the location of ice. 

The atmosphere is crazy–it was in the 20’s a few days ago and tomorrow is forecast to be 70!  It will be nice and warm tomorrow which will allow everything to melt, but be prepared for another cold front to move through early Sunday. 

I hope no one had any serious problems resulting from this icy weather.  Enjoy the nice weather tomorrow!!

Kara Bolognini

Weather Intern

Ice on Tuesday…70s on Saturday!
January 30, 2009

Our thaw continues.  The ice froze over last night, so expect the side streets, parking lots and sidewalks to be icy this morning.  We will warm up this afternoon:

graphic131Notice that I put the cooler temperatures in the area hardest hit by the sleet/ice.  Those numbers have some wiggle-room to them…if the ice melts rapidly, temperatures could be 2-3 degrees warmer.

The ice/slush remaining tonight will freeze back up.  We will bottom out at 32 in OKC.  The good news–once we get above freezing Saturday morning, we will remain above freezing for the rest of the weekend.  In fact, tomorrow will be just plain mild with highs in the 60s central and east and 70s west.

The minus about tomorrow–the fire danger will be back.

graphic217Southwest winds at 15-25 will drop the humidity and raise the temperatures in western Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon.  That area saw the lower precipitation totals during our winter storm.  Expect the fire danger to be a problem Saturday afternoon.  A cold front will move through on Sunday bringing a chance for rain in the east/southeast.  Outside of that, the state should see dry weather for the next week.


Clues from a Jet stream…
January 29, 2009

We are going to enjoy warmer temperatures this Saturday, but will see another round of cold air arrive Sunday night.  Keeping an eye on the location of the jet stream near the top of our atmosphere, is a good way to track the boundary of warm and cold air near the ground.  Prominent high-altitude winds are jet streams, which can exceed speeds of 100 knots.  The jet stream is a result of sharp differences of temperature.  In the northern hemisphere, warm air lies to the right of the jet, as it flows from west to east.  In the graphic below, the “J” represents the position of the jet stream, in between domes of warm and cold air.  Around the equator, the atmosphere heats up and expands; near the poles, the atmosphere cools and contracts.  This causes the depth of our atmosphere to change.  A sudden change in height of our atmosphere is where we find the jet stream.jetstreamgraphic A quick look at the model forecasts for this weekend, and we will find the jet stream well to our north on Saturday as a southerly surface wind pushes warm air into our area.  By Sunday night, the jet stream dips south and over Oklahoma, co-located with a northerly surface wind that is ushering a cold front.  In the graphic below, the maps on the left are surface air temperature; the maps on the right are wind speed at 300 mb, near the top of our atmosphere.  Keeping track of the jet stream is a quick way to locate a cold front!upperair_jet_modelKenny

Beware Falling Ice!
January 29, 2009

Just talked with photojournalist Chris Lee, who tells me the travel threat today in Oklahoma City will again be ice … falling ice.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers have worked at least a couple accidents Thursday morning caused by ice coming off of cars. Big sheets of ice.

Please clear your car of ice before hitting the road.

The commute from Norman to NW OKC this morning was a breeze. Have to say: OKC drivers for the most part have been excellent. There’s always that renegade who has to drive 75 on patchy ice, but most drivers along I-35 and 235 were courteous and careful.

While we’re not liveblogging in the same sense that we were the past couple of days, by all means, send us your weather reports to, and we’ll work them in as we can to other posts.

Better Today…
January 29, 2009

Weather conditions continue to improve today…looks like we will be above freezing shortly..and then highs will be in the low 40s later today.  Here is a look at the “melting” time-line. 


Road conditions are improving but there are still slick spots. 



Dangerous Roads Tonight And Tomorrow Morning!
January 28, 2009

Sunny skies and the departing storm system have allowed temperatures to warm above freezing for the western 2/3rds of the state. This has allowed some of the ice and sleet to melt away, and helped make roads more passable and sidewalks more walkable this afternoon. Look for this trend to be short-lived, however, as temperatures will quickly fall below freezing again right around sunset or shortly thereafter.

Roads, especially secondary ones, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots will become very icy and very dangerous tonight and into tomorrow morning. Any of the sleet and ice that has thus far melted will refreeze substantially and very quickly tonight. Overnight lows look to plunge into the low 20s or even upper teens across much of the state and this will make for a solid sheet of ice just about everywhere there is moisture and water, especially those areas that have not been plowed and treated. Even salted/sanded areas may be pushing it with how low temperatures may go overnight.

The bottom line is be VERY careful tonight and tomorrow morning. The ice may be even worse than it has been up until now. Watch your steps and leave earlier for work if you have to, keeping in mind the most hazardous time period will be from early evening until the first few hours after sunrise.

Here is a satellite shot of what the sleet/snow and ice look like from space this afternoon:


Ilya Neyman

Weather Intern