What a May Cold Front!

Or so I thought…..I mean, to go from 91 degrees on Thursday and then have the winds swing north and gust to 45mph overnight and temperatures plummet with a forecast high today 20 degrees cooler…there was some kind of record there for May right? Or, at least something very unusual. Turns out, it’s more common than you think (or at least what I thought).

When I started looking back over the last ten years, I figured I wouldn’t find a dry cold front that came through in May that dropped our high by 20 degrees from one day to another.

Last year, we went from 81 on the 1st, to 56 on the 2nd…but, we also had 1.20 inches of rain. No other significant drops, so I was one-for-one.

In 2008, we went from a high of 76 on the 2nd, to a high of 65 on the 3rd, with no rain. An eleven degree drop, but not crazy. I was two-for-two. Then, it got bad.

Later in 08′, we went from 87 on the 10th, to a high of just 68 on the 11th, again with no rain. A nice 19 degree drop.

The most significant drop on consecutive days came back in 2003. The high on the 30th was a scorching 102 degrees. The next afternoon, our high was just 82! A 20 degree plummet, with no rain.

There were other interesting tidbits as well. During the first four days of 2005, the highest temperature was just 63 degrees. And May 02′ was just a “cold” month. The average temperature was 2.5 degrees cooler than normal. Anything above one degree is considered significant.

So, it was a strong cold front, but not the crazy unusual one for May I though we saw. Turns out, the only crazy thing is,  as always, Oklahoma’s weather.

Rusty

Advertisements

8 Responses

  1. So could you please tell us what are your thoughts for Monday? Could this possibly be a big day?…. Thanks Cody!

  2. The SPC thinks Monday will be a big day. I plan to clean the bugs out of my tornado shelter over the weekend just in case.

    From the day 4 (Monday) outlook:

    EXPECT STORMS WILL INITIATE ALONG THE DRYLINE FROM CNTRL KS INTO WRN OK BY MID-MONDAY AFTN…THEN MATURE INTO SUPERCELLS WITHIN THE MOIST WARM SECTOR ACROSS CNTRL-ERN KS/OK DURING THE EVENING. FCST THERMODYNAMIC/KINEMATIC PROFILES SUGGEST POSSIBILITY OF A SIGNIFICANT SVR EVENT…INCLUDING STRONG TORNADOES AND VERY LARGE HAIL.

  3. In regards to Monday, treat it like a high risk of severe weather day. Many of the ingredients we look at in regards to severe weather will be ample. It would be a great idea to clean out those storm shelters and go over severe weather plans with your family. We’ll have a lot of blog posts coming up on the severe potential next week. Of course, things change so stay tuned!

  4. Rusty,

    What does the timeline look like for the metro? I know it’s been stated from 3:00 pm to 3:00 am but that seems to cover the whole state. I was wondering about the metro specifically.

    • Kaye, this far out a metro timeline would be general at best. There’s still nearly 72 hours for this system to slow down or speed up. As of now, I would be prepared during the afternoon and evening hours, with a possible shift of the storms east of the metro by late evening. I could see all of the storms out of the metro by midnight.

  5. That’s interesting information. I was thinking to myself this morning that it seems like winter is having a hard time letting go…guess it’s normal.

    For my idle amusement…as far as the severe weather goes, I sometimes see the term “cap” (I guess it means inversion cap?) on the NWS Enhanced Page. My understanding is that a strong cap can keep the storm chances low. Is there any indication that a cap will be in place and how strong it might be? What will typically cause a storm to develop with a cap in place (i.e. does the cap break down)?

    Thanks,

    Kelly

    • We could spend a few pages on cap, but I’ll go over the basics. Basically, cap CAN inhibit thunderstorm develop. But, it may also aid in explosive development and stronger storms, if they can develop.
      Cap is a stable region of air in the troposphere. Sinking air aloft can cause cap, amongst other things.
      The cap can erode through the day. Some causes for that would be lift, daytime heating and low-level convergence. If these parameters exist, the cap may completely erode and explosive development of thunderstorms (even stronger than if the cap did not exist) could develop.
      The models do show a cap (or CIN -Convective Inhibition) for Monday. So I think we are looking at a conditionally unstable atmosphere.

  6. Rusty,

    Thanks for the information! I know it’s subject to change but I appreciate having your current thoughts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: