Weekly Severe Weather Discussion

Severe Weather Discussion for December 20-26, 2010.
Valid: 12/19/2010.

Highlights:

– Rain is possible Thursday afternoon/evening, with a chance of light
snow in far northern Oklahoma.

– Temperatures will be in the low 70s on Monday, mid 50s on Tuesday,
low 50s Wednesday, upper 50s Thursday, near 40F Friday-Sunday.

– Fire weather is likely in southwest Oklahoma tomorrow and possible
in western Oklahoma on Thursday.

– Merry Christmas to all!

Probabilities:

– Severe Thunderstorms in Oklahoma: < 5%
– Storm Chase: < 5%
– Winter Precip: 5%

Discussion:

If there were any day this month to skip out of work and throw on the
bikini, it is tomorrow! Weak upper system moving through the northern
U.S. will prompt the development of a surface low in Kansas, which
will then translate southeast in Oklahoma. Moisture return is likely
in eastern Oklahoma with associated stratus, this may hold
temperatures down some. In central and western Oklahoma, relatively
clear skies should allow for deep mixing and warm temperatures. A
quasi-dryline will shift east during the day, allowing for southwest
winds to mix down warm temperatures. This should result in very warm
temperatures in southwest Oklahoma. Low dewpoints will yield low
relative humidity across the area, where a fire weather watch is
posted. OEM has a copter on standby due to this potential and a Red
Flag Warning is likely for far southwest sections on Monday.

As the surface low weakens/translates east out of Oklahoma, a weak
cold front will move into the state late Tuesday. The cool air will
be short-lived as another warm-up is expected Thursday associated with
a southern stream shortwave trof. Models differ on this system with
the GFS fastest among the short-range models. This is nothing new,
but the GFS has been known to be right. I'm splitting the difference
between the three of them. Upper system is progged to move near the
KS/OK border which should promote surface low development in the
state. Moisture will return to the state, but once again along I-35
and east. Dryline will once again move east into western sections,
resulting in elevated fire potential. As the upper system is moving
through the region, a Canadian cold front will surge south. Rain is
likely in the eastern 1/2 of Oklahoma, although QPF amounts are on the
low side. The column may cool quickly enough for snow as the upper
system moves by and dry air filters into the region.

After this system passes, around Friday, a mid-level ridge develops
across the region. Models differ on how long it will hang around and
also the cold air. However, the general consensus is for the cold air
to hang around through Sunday. The ECMWF shows another southern
stream trof moving towards the region next week, however this is
beyond the current forecast period.

Followed GFS/NAM through the week. Made a few modifications,
especially to Monday by raising temperatures into the 70's.

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About Putnam Reiter

Putnam has been storm chasing since 1990 and is a co-founder of Hook-Echo.com. For his day job, Putnam works in emergency management for information technology.
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