Brett's Weather Blog: Winter's frigid temps ease a bit but eyes are on a storm for early next week

Whew, we made it...halfway through winter.  We are fewer than six weeks away from spring.  With hope, the final six weeks will be a little warmer than the first six weeks of winter. 

In my winter forecast back in November, I forecasted below average temperatures for the winter.  Take a look at the graphic below.  

The daytime highs have been about 2 degrees colder than average but it's the nights where we have really been feeling the chill.  The nights are running well below average and you'll recall that back in early January temperature bottomed out at 2 below 0.  

In Tulsa, February is a month to begin the thaw.  Average morning lows at the beginning of the month run around  28 degrees, but by the end of the month the average low is above freezing at 35 degrees.  Average daytime highs also take off.  Running from 50 at the start of the month to 57 by the end of the month.

But winter can also roar at its worst or best, depending how you look at it.  And next week may be no exception.  All the computer data suggests there is a storm digging into the southwestern US next week, but who will see wintry weather?

Well, while everyone looks at the bigger storm digging into the southwest, let's not forget about a smaller feature that might sneak up on some folks.

The main storm is digging as it rips along in the southern branch of the Jet Stream, but as the northern branch tries to hook up with it, a little wave of energy forms and could zip right into Green Country Monday night into Tuesday.  The dashed line on the map above represents that little wave.  But sometimes little can pack quite a punch.  

Moisture will be increasing in the atmosphere over Oklahoma early next week.  So as this energy encounters the more humid air a swath of snow may develop in southcentral Kansas and spread into northeastern Oklahoma.  Below is a map that shows the total amount of moisture.

The liquid available is a half an inch of water.  If this is all snow, then we would be talking about five inches of snow, if you take the normal snowfall ratio of 10 to 1.  That means a tenth of an inch of water equals an inch of snow.  If there is super cold air then the ratio goes higher and thus the snowfall totals grow higher.

Tired of winter yet?  Well, there is good news.  Behind next week's storm comes a warm up.  In fact, according to the weather pattern theory I use for long range forecasting, we should see a warm storm between Feb. 19 and Feb. 21.  Thunderstorms, anyone?

Have a great Friday!  

Brett 

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