Strong Winds, Fire Danger, and Chance of Storms: Discussion

Showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast on this Presidents’ Day, as well as the strong winds.  Here’s a discussion describing today’s weather.

This morning’s surface analysis:

 

Cold front extends from western Kansas south into the western OK Panhandle.  Ahead of the cold front, dewpoints are in the 40s and behind the front, less than 20 degrees. 

Here’s the upper level 500 mb map forecast for noon today:

Upper low moves out of the Rockies and into the TX Panhandle.  As this low moves in, it will push the pacific cold front east across our state, along with a dryline. You can see the dryline evident in this dewpoint map forecast at 11am:

With the approach of the upper low this afternoon along with the dryline/pacific cold front, winds will increase.  Winds could gust as high as 40-45 mph in the OKC metro and higher in western OK.  High winds and relative humidity less than 20% to our southwest will lead to extreme fire danger.  There is also very high fire danger for central and western OK this afternoon.

Aside from blowing dust and fire danger, there is also a chance for storms.  If any storms fire up today, it will be mainly after the noon hour with the greatest risk from just west of I-35 (El Reno, Kingfisher) and east.  The atmosphere is favoring hail as the main threat due to cold temps aloft; however, moisture is limited so the chance for storms is less than 40%. 

With Mother Nature, anything’s possible.  We’ll definitely get the wind.  As for the storms, we’ll have to play the “wait and see” game!  We’ll keep you updated!

-Danielle

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