Saturday, March 28, 2009

Record Snowfall

Just not in OKC!

Laverne, Alva, and Freedom unofficially have recorded 25 inches of snow, with drifts approaching eaves of some houses and cars being buried. This total, if made official, would be the second largest snowstorm in Oklahoma recorded history.

Now everyone else be happy with your inch of snow and blame northwest Oklahoma for taking all of ours!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Oklahoma Semi-Blizzard.......Update

A weather balloon that was released this afternoon by the National Weather Service shows a small layer of warm air aloft (not predicted well by the computers) that is preventing snowfall so far. This should delay the snow in OKC until around 8:00 or so, and may lower snowfall amounts slightly. I'll go with 6-8 inches in NW OKC, 3-6 inches in central OKC, and 1-3 inches in southeast OKC. The heaviest snow will fall after Midnight, with some rumbles of thunder possible towards morning.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Oklahoma Blizzard.......Update

As of 11:00 Thursday night, it is 24 degrees in the western Oklahoma panhandle, with 6 inches of snow on the ground already. All I have to say is.......get ready.

A very, very powerful low pressure system is digging south over the Rockies and heading our way still. I would be shocked if the forecast changed now, considering the models have been showing the same thing now for nearly 3 days.

I can't remember a winter storm that looks as impressive as this one. I would not be surprised if the snow forecasts below are exceeded in some areas.

SE OKC....Midwest City, Del City, and Moore......2-4 inches
Central OKC....Bethany, The Village.................3-5 inches
NW OKC, Edmond, Guthrie.............................4-8 inches
Far NW Metro.....Kingfisher, Piedmont..............5-10 inches
NW Oklahoma, S Kansas, Wichita....7-14 inches.....5-6 ft snow drifts

The snow should start around 4PM and last until Noon Saturday. Friday night/Saturday morning there may be convective bands of snow that form, which would be thundersnow. Winds Saturday morning could gust over 40MPH, which could cause near-blizzard conditions in the northern sections of Oklahoma City.

This storm could go down in the record books for most snow in Oklahoma City during March, and a top-ten all time storm somewhere northwest of here.

Anyone know any good sledding spots?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Historic Snowstorm

Northwest Oklahoma is the place to be Friday if you want to see the possibility of a top-ten all-time Oklahoma snowstorm. The computer models are spitting out unbelieveable snow totals, and they keep doing with each update. There is a very real possibility of 20 inches of snow near Woodward, with 3-4 foot snow drifts, and highways drifted shut.

As for OKC, we could have a few severe storms Thursday afternoon, followed by rain Friday morning, changing to snow Friday afternoon, and becoming heavy snow Friday evening until about midnight, before becoming light snow. Don't be surprised if we have some thundersnow Friday night. If you live southeast of Interstate 44, I would expect 1-3 inches as of right now. Northwest of Interstate 44, 2-4 inches of snow is possible. The snow should end by noon Saturday.

Spring will be quick to return next week with temperatures in the 60's and 70's. Early indications are that we will be entering a stormy period in a couple of weeks.

And You Thought Winter Was Over

Well, Mother Nature has different plans. In fact, it is quite possible that some areas in Oklahoma record daily snowfall records this coming Friday night-Saturday, and that NW Oklahoma experiences blizzard conditions at times.

A powerful low pressure will move south from the Canadian Rockies during the day Thursday and the associated low pressure will track south across the Texas Panhandle, then east towards central Texas and NE across Arkansas. Due to the fact that the storm will be carrying cold air south with it, this is a classic setup for heavy snow in Oklahoma (granted, not usually this late in the year.) To the southeast of the low pressure in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana, a major tornado outbreak is possible during the day Friday.

Here is what I expect right now for OKC: Rain and Thunderstorms during the day Friday. In fact, we could have a few storms that produce some small hail. As the day wears on temperatures will begin falling, and by 5PM the rain should change to snow, lasting through sunrise Saturday morning. North winds will be brutal, gusting upwards of 40MPH. There will be no travel problems becuase of the warm ground temperatures, but I expect 1-3 inches of snow on the grass and elevated surfaces for OKC proper. Northwest Oklahoma could see an incredible late-season snowstorm. Up to 12 inches of snow is possible up there, with snow drifts of up to 3 feet and near-blizzard conditions.

I will update this blog as the storm gets closer to refine predicted snow totals. They could go up or down, depending on the track of the low-pressure system.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Monday Threat Levels

Alright, I'm going to give this a shot. This is my most reasonable prediction for Monday afternoon and night. As always, subject to change.

Tornado- Slight
High Wind- Moderate
Large Hail- Moderate

It appears the only thing preventing us from having a major tornado outbreak Monday night is lack of moisture......there simply won't be enough of it for many tornadoes, if any at all. Storms will first form about 50-75 miles west of OKC Monday afternoon, and for the first couple of hours after this there will be a window of opportunity for storms to produce tornadoes. I think most of them will brief and weak. As the storms approach OKC, they will probably consolidate into a line, and while the tornado threat will decrease, the threat of damaging straight winds will increase, mainly between 6 and 10PM.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Monday Possibilities

Details are still foggy regarding what is going to happen on Monday. Like I have said, many things can change, and there is still uncertainty as to what will happen severe weather-wise. I think there are 3 likely scenarios:

1) Oklahoma receives severe weather, but it is more in the way of a squall line rather than supercells. While this would diminsh the tornado threat, the risk of straight-line wind damage would increase.

2) Due to lack of quality moisture in the atmosphere, we have individual storms and supercells, but they mainly produce hail and wind and not many tornadoes.

3) We have plenty of moisture and supercells, which means all heck would break loose.

Right now, in the order above, I would place the probabilities roughly at I am slightly leaning towards #2, but all possibilities are still out there. For what it's worth, Gary England is forecasting significant severe weather, Mike Morgan reminded everyone about weather radios on the 10PM newscast, and is predicting a major tornado outbreak. I feel there are too many things in question to go out on that limb right now......we shall see.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Update on Monday

We are still 5 days away from the event I have mentioned in posts below, but I have seen enough to make a preliminary target area. North-central Texas, all of Western & Central Oklahoma, and South-central Kansas. In Oklahoma, this greatest threat would be in a box outlined by the cities of Woodward, Altus, Ardmore, Shawnee, and Tulsa, including the OKC metro. We can barely pinpoint severe weather for 2-3 days out, let alone 5 days out, so this is still very sketchy. But if model forecasts verify, this one could be the most significant Oklahoma tornado outbreak we've seen in the last few years.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I just glanced at the latest computer model forecasts for next week. I have to tell you, even this far out still, that the potential is there for a very large tornado outbreak somewhere on the Plains. By very large, I mean the possibility of over 50 tornado reports in one day, and right now the most likely day is Monday. Things can still change, however. I hope they do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

May-Like Severe Weather in March?

It is not common to be fairly certain of a severe weather outbreak with tornadoes one week in advance, but this may be one of those situations. The only question is, in what part of the country will they be? Right now I am favoring Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska for potential locations of this outbreak that could take place anytime between Sunday, March 22 through Wednesday, March 25.

This scenario is still many days out, and many things can change, but it looks like a substantial storm will be affecting the Plains during this timeframe. All severe weather types are possible, including some large tornadoes and heavy rainfall.

I will update the blog more as the storm comes closer and will detail whether there is a threat for OKC at that time.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Where Are the Sunspots?

I ran across this story recently on the Web and in the news. Here's the jist of it. The Sun goes through solar cycles in a recurring pattern every 11 years, with a peak of activity, decreasing to a lull, and then back to a peak, and so on and so on. A minimum was predicted to occur back at the end of 2007 and early 2008, after which sunspot activity would increase. Well, needless to say the Sun has scientists baffled. For nearly a year the Sun has produced little to no sunspots, and this minimum in activity has lasted much longer than anyone expected.
How does this affect Earth? Well, during solar maximums there can be disruptions of cellular service and satellite transmissions, as well as more frequent Northern Lights. A more unknown affect on Earth is our climate. Some scientists argue that an increase in sunspots increases the amount of solar energy that the Sun emits, which in turn can cause Earth to warm. Decreases in sunspots, accordingly, would cause Earth to cool. Some argue that our recent period of "global warming" has been caused in part by increased solar activity.

An interesting thing to note is a period between the mid-1600's and early 1700's, which is known as the Little Ice Age. This period saw brutal, long winters and famine because of crop failures due to the extreme cold. At the same time as the Little Ice Age was the Maunder Minimum, which was a period in which the Sun produced little to no sunspots. Whether the two are related is up to debate, but it would be interesting to see what happened if the Sun unexpectedly entered a dormant period now as it did over 400 years ago.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nate Said it Would

Is it conceited to give myself props for mentioning the possibility of snow today nearly a week ago? (See March Madness post below)

Please advise.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nice, ORDINARY Thunderstorms

It was nice to get some much needed rainfall without hearing tornado sirens at the same time tonight. The metro got anywhere from one half to one inch of rain, which was great to water in the new plants in our flower beds and weed application on the lawn!

I really thought there would at least be a couple of tornadoes in Oklahoma tonight, but I think in the end we didn't have enough moisture or instability in the atmosphere. For a severe weather event you typically want cold air aloft, between 5,000 and 10,000 feet up. This helps air rise faster in a thunderstorm updraft, giving it more energy. This is a long way to say that the upper levels of the atmosphere were probably a little too warm to produce significant severe weather.

One of the reasons I love weather is the mystery it provides. For as much as we know, there is more we don't know. All we can do is forecast what we believe the most likely outcome will be. Kansas had tornadoes this past Saturday with conditions that appeared less favorable for tornadoes than the conditions we had here tonight. The storms definitely had small hook-echoes on them around 10PM, and in fact one tracked near the Edmond tornado alley from Mercy up towards downtown Edmond. If there had been more moisture and instability, this storm may have become a tornado producer.

Teaser for the next topic to write plans on going on a one-day storm chase this Spring with a reputable storm chasing tour company........

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Severe Weather Risk Monday 3/9/09

I am going to try something for this upcoming severe weather season. When I believe a noteworthy severe weather event is upcoming, I will post the breakdown of the different threats and a brief discussion. The three categories will be risks for tornadoes, large hail, and damaging straight-line winds. I will predict either a slight, moderate, or high risk for the OKC metro and surrounding counties. So here goes for Monday!

Tornado- Slight
Large Hail- Slight
High Wind- Slight

Moisture will be slow to return, and clouds may prevent maximum heating during the day, but strong shear and the approach of a cold front will probably trigger some thunderstorms during the afternoon, some of which may be supercells. Wind gusts up to 60MPH, hail to golfball size, and a brief tornado or two appear to be what is expected at this time, generally between Highway 81 and Interstate 35.

Friday, March 6, 2009

March Madness


Friday- Highs in the 80's, high fire danger

Monday- Severe weather possible in Oklahoma, with tornadoes a possiblilty

Next Thursday/Friday- Much colder, snow possible in the northern half of the state.

No, I am not making this up. That is all for now.