Heavy Rain, Severe Storms, Winter WX All Possible Over Thanksgiving Weekend
OKLAHOMA CITY - We are watching some big events coming our way for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend; the coldest air of the season, a big lumbering low pressure area to our west and a tropical storm moving onto the Mexican coast.
All three will have big impact on the kind and amounts of weather we will see Thursday, Friday into Saturday. The powerful El Nino pattern continues for the events this weekend.
With these three players, the timing and movements will be critical to determine what kind of weather we will see. If the arctic air charges south and pushes well underneath the warmer air above, ice is going to be an issue and possibly a big issue with travel plans and power grids.
If the low to our west moves our way, thunderstorms, possibly severe, will be possible. The tropical low's moisture will also ride up our way and possibly over the arctic dome give the potential for some flooding. These are all worst case scenarios, but in some form or fashion they are all possible.
Here is how we are seeing it for the OKC metro. The low to our west will come out in waves and begin creating light rain or drizzle Tuesday night or Wednesday. Storm Wave #1 will arrive on Thursday into early Friday and Storm Wave #2 arrives late Friday into Saturday.
The arctic air is moving into the northern plains today and is on track to slide across the state late Thursday. This sets up some possibility of freezing rain or sleet Friday into Saturday. This is the one element that is very difficult to predict.
As it looks right now, the best chances for ice will be across western OK, as the air temps fall into the upper 20s or low 30s. OKC should have temps fall into the low 30s by Friday afternoon. The will stay near freezing into Saturday and hover just a few degrees above Saturday afternoon.
The tropical low's moisture is expected to bring heavy rainfall over consecutive days and the metro could see up to 3 to 4 inches of rain. I'm thinking the warmer rains aloft will interact with the arctic air at the surface and this will keep the metro from getting too much ice. I've been wrong on this before so we will need to watch this pattern day to day. Again, a lot of moving parts.
Western Oklahoma has the best opportunity for winter conditions, with mainly freezing rain or sleet causing issues. Bridges and overpasses will be the first travel hazards before the roads eventually starting to get icy. This is not locked in as much as what I'm concerned with.
We will also monitor the electrical grids for some ice accumulation. The high chances of this will be across far western and NW OK. South and southeast Oklahoma should have the heaviest rains from the remnant tropical moisture and the cold font boundary being in play. As much as 5 to 6 inches of rainfall will be possible over the course of the holiday weekend.
Say goodbye to the 60's too. Not seeing them in the forecast for quite some time after Thanksgiving.
Stay with News 9, we’ll keep you advised!