Weekly Weather Recap – 8 April, 2022

Welcome to this week’s OU Nightly Weekly Weather Recap!

Norman, OK

Spring continues to bring rollercoaster temperatures to parts of the Sooner State. This week, Norman saw high temperatures in the 80s on Tuesday, which quickly fell into the 60s Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday offered another deluge of rain and thunderstorms, with a few severe thunderstorms impacting portions of southern Cleveland County on Monday afternoon.

Clouds lingered into the first half of Tuesday, but wind and wildfires have been the top story. A series of wind advisories and high wind warnings were in effect for portions of the state this week, with winds gusting over 60 miles per hour in some locations, according to NWS Norman.

A 48 mile per hour wind gust was reported in Norman just after midnight on Wednesday, according to the NWS Norman.

Windy, dry conditions have also added fuel to the wildfire threat this week across much of central Oklahoma, with near critical to critical threats in place this week, according to NWS Norman, which prompted red flag warnings.

Severe Weather

Portions of the Southern Plains saw severe weather, including damaging winds, large hail, and tornadoes on Monday.

On Monday night, an EF-2 tornado caused damage to a home in Johnson County, Texas, according to the NWS Fort Worth. Winds were estimated to be 112 miles per hour from damage survey reports collected in the area.

The severe threat shifted eastward Tuesday, all the way into Thursday, with multiple rounds reported. According to the Storm Prediction Center, 73 tornadoes had been reported Tuesday across the Deep South, impacting portions of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina.

A strong tornado that prompted a tornado emergency hit Allendale County, South Carolina on Tuesday, according to a tweet by the NWS Columbia, and was given a preliminary rating of EF-3.

Wind and Fire Weather

It was another dry, mild, and very windy week across the nation’s Heartland. Red flag warnings were in effect for portions of 11 states, including New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri on Wednesday according to a map posted by Wildfire Today.

Winds in excess of 35 miles per hour, low moisture in the air, and dry conditions all aided in the threat for wildfires this week across the Central and Southern Plains and Southwest.

On Thursday, multiple wildfires were reported across western Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle, including one in Harper County, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Forestry Services tweeted photos of the wildfire, that was only 50% contained as of Thursday evening.

Winter Weather

It may be spring, but winter is holding onto portions of the Northern Plains. Snowfall on Wednesday and freezing temperatures Wednesday night led to many difficult travel conditions across eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, according to a tweet by NWS Grand Forks.

Winter weather also impacted portions of the Great Lakes, including Wisconsin and Michigan through Thursday. According to snowfall reports by the National Weather Service, areas to the south southwest of Ashland, Wisconsin picked up 9.5 inches of snow as of Thursday afternoon.

The Weekend Ahead in Norman

Friday will be another windy but dry day across Norman and central Oklahoma. Winds will gust over 30 miles per hour, according to NWS Norman. Lots of sun and clouds will also reign on Friday, with temperatures in the low 60s, several degrees below average for this time of year.

A warm up is on the way this weekend, as temperatures will reach the mid to upper 70s on Saturday and top off in the mid 80s on Sunday. Sun and a few clouds can be expected as winds stay gusty and the fire danger remains critical.

The NWS Norman urges residents to avoid burning through this weekend as wildfires could spark easily and be difficult to contain once started.

The dry and windy pattern will come to an end on Monday, as showers and thunderstorms return through the middle part of next week, some of which could turn strong to severe.

Your National Weekend Forecast

Mild but dry and windy conditions will exacerbate the threat for wildfires again on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. Red flag warnings are in effect for portions of the Central Plains, as well as portions of the Gulf Coast.

The NWS New Orleans warns of humidity below 20% and winds gusting in excess of 20 miles per hour will create critical fire conditions through Friday evening, and urges residents to stay fire weather aware. 

A freeze warning is also in effect for portions of the Central Plains and Midwest, as extremely cold air drops temperatures into the upper 20s and low 30s. The NWS in Springfield, Missouri warns that sensitive crops and outdoor plants will die due to the unseasonably cold temperatures.

A storm system will bring a wintry mix of snow and freezing rain to portions of the Great Lakes on Friday, while further south along the Ohio River Valley, rain and thunderstorms will be possible. 

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for portions of the northern peninsula of Michigan on Friday, according to the NWS in Marquette. Their office warns of additional snowfall around one inch for many places, but locally heavier amounts in higher elevations.

The rest of the country will remain dry and on the cool side, with the exception of portions of southern California. The NWS Los Angeles advises residents to stay hydrated and limit time outdoors through Friday as temperatures bake in the 90s and 100s.

The first part of the weekend will bring that wintry mix south from the Great Lakes into the Ohio River Valley. The Northeast could see some rain showers, while the Central Plains, Southeast, and West will all see sunshine and a few clouds as temperatures start to warm back up.

The fire threat will remain elevated across the Central United States this weekend. The NWS in Amarillo advises the fire conditions will persist as temperatures warm up, accompanied with gusty winds and low humidity.

By Sunday, another storm system will be impacting portions of the Pacific Northwest, bringing rain showers to Washington State and snow to higher elevations. Sunshine and a nice warm up will prevail across much of the southern United States as winds fuel more fire chances.

This dry pattern will come to an end on Monday, reducing the threat for wildfires for many, but increasing the threats of severe weather throughout next week.

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