Welcome to this week’s OU Nightly Weekly Weather Watch!
Norman, OK, and the majority of the United States will experience nearly all four seasons in a matter of a few days.
Specifically for Norman, OK, there will be fire weather conditions, severe thunderstorms, and winter precipitation.
Starting today, February 15, 2022, there will be prime fire weather conditions for most of Oklahoma, including Norman.
Winds will be screaming from the south at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 40 mph.
These winds paired with high temperatures in the mid-70s and low relative humidity values around 20 percent meet the criteria for Red Flag Warnings and create the perfect scenario for wildfires.
According to the National Weather Service, “any fires that start will be difficult to contain.”
After the wildfire threat has passed, a chance for severe thunderstorms rolls in.
The main timing for storms is in the evening on Wednesday, February 16, 2022.
These storms have a low chance of producing tornadoes, but they do have the potential for strong winds and large hail.
The Storm Prediction Center, SPC, most of southeastern Oklahoma, including Norman, is under a Slight Risk for severe thunderstorms.
According to the National Weather Service in Norman, OK, any hail that falls could be as large as golf balls, and winds could gust up to 60 to 80 mph.
As if the fire weather and severe thunderstorms was not enough, winter weather will move in next.
After the severe threat passes, a blast of cold air will rush through Norman, OK, Wednesday night and Thursday, February 17, 2022, early morning, and there will be a chance for winter precipitation.
Since the type of winter precipitation is so tricky to predict accurately many days out, there is still uncertainty if that precipitation will be cold rain, snow, sleet, or freezing rain.
As of Tuesday, February 15, 2022, the National Weather Service in Norman, OK, predicts anywhere from 0.1 to 1 inch of snow to fall in Norman, OK.
Higher snowfall totals will occur to the north and west. As is the norm with winter weather, the forecast will change.
The best way to keep up to date with the ever-changing forecast is to look at the NWS Norman, OK, website and their social media pages.
After all the wild weather has passed, the rest of the week and weekend looks to be pleasant with clear skies and temperatures in the 50s and 60s.
However, next Monday, February 21, 2022, there is a low chance for rain in southeast Oklahoma.
Again, this forecast is likely to change as new data comes in, so look to the NWS Norman website and social media for the latest information and guidance.
Many parts of the United States are dealing with fire weather conditions today.
Those included are the states of Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Because all the ingredients for fire weather are present, the National Weather Service has issued many Red Flag Warnings.
In all these Red Flag Warnings, the winds will be gusting anywhere from 20 mph to 75 mph, with the strongest wind gusts occurring in the Midwest and South.
The National Weather Service Office in Omaha/Valley, Nebraska, is warning their district that “Any fires that ignite will spread rapidly and exhibit extreme behavior. Outdoor burning is not recommended. If fires develop, they will be difficult to contain.”
These fires will be difficult to contain due to strong winds, dry vegetation, low relative humidity, warm temperatures.
Luckily, these Red Flag Warnings will be dropped by the overnight hours of Wednesday, February 16, 2022, as this strong weather system moves through the country.
Though it is only February, the threat of severe weather has finally returned.
The Storm Prediction Center has given Starting on the evening of Wednesday, February 16, 2022, a strong storm system will move across the United States, and once it reaches Oklahoma, the precipitation begins.
Around 2 AM CST, thunderstorms will begin to pop up around western Oklahoma and gradually move their way eastward.
As they move, the individual cells will merge to form a line of thunderstorms.
According to the Storm Prediction Center, this line will push its way through central Oklahoma by 5 AM CST bringing heavy rain, the threat of golf ball hail, winds from 60 to 80 mph, and “perhaps even a few line embedded tornadoes.”
The severe threat moves into Thursday, February 17, 2022, for the Lower Mississippi Valley, Mid-South, and Southeast.
According to the Storm Prediction Center, there is “uncertainty regarding a continued severe potential.”
This uncertainty will change as the system moves into the Southeast later this week.
The other side of this storm system is the winter aspect.
Winter storm watches are starting to go into effect for portions of Kansas and Oklahoma for Wednesday evening, many of the same areas that are under Red Flag Warnings for high winds and fire danger today.
The National Weather Service in Dodge City, Kansas, warns of “snow accumulations of 4 to 6 inches” beginning Wednesday night and lasting through Thursday morning, with winds gusting “as high as 45 mph.”
Areas of blowing snow will begin pushing eastward along the I-70 corridor into Missouri and Illinois, making travel conditions and roadways treacherous.
A stretch of freezing rain and sleet will form just south of the heavier snow bands as the system pushes eastward. The exact timing and location of this hazard are still uncertain but are expected to occur.