Welcome to this week’s OU Nightly Weekly Weather Recap!
It turned out to be a fairly quiet week across central and southern Oklahoma. Temperatures started out in the 60s on Monday under sunny skies, according to the NWS Norman.
Conditions stayed partly cloudy to fair on Tuesday, as temperatures climbed to the 70-degree mark. Winds began gusting, up to 38 miles per hour.
On Wednesday, there was a marginal to slight risk for severe storms for portions of central and eastern Oklahoma, with large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes possible.
While no storms fired in central Oklahoma, Norman stayed very warm as it hit a high of 91 degrees on Wednesday. Oklahoma City broke their previous record high temperature for April 20 of 91 degrees by hitting 93 degrees.
The threat for severe weather pushed to the north and east on Thursday, according to the NWS Norman. The metro area, Norman, and points to the south saw partly cloudy skies, temperatures in the mid 80s, and winds out of the southeast at 10 to 20 miles per hour, with gusts near 30 miles per hour.
The Southwest saw critical fire conditions this week, which prompted a large wildfire near Flagstaff, Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The wildfire had spread in size to 26 square miles as of Wednesday, according to The Weather Channel. It is estimated that 700 homes were ordered to evacuate due to the blaze.
The Arizona Department of Safety tweeted a photo on Thursday letting travelers know that US Highway 89 was closed due to the wildfire.
Winds gusting over 20 miles per hour, above-average temperatures, and relatively low humidity values have made the wildfire extremely difficult to contain as it spreads over generally rural areas.
It was a quieter week in terms of severe storms compared to most weeks this spring. Strong storms hit portions of south central Kansas on Thursday, prompting a tornado watch.
A few storms turned severe over Kansas Thursday night. While no confirmed tornadoes were reported, there were reports of half dollar-size hail in Mapleton, Kansas, according to the Storm Prediction Center’s Storm Reports.
Another storm system and cold front prompted a tornado warning on Thursday for portions of east central California in Valley Springs. The NWS Sacramento noted the radar indicated tornado showed strong rotation on the radar.
Portions of the Northeast saw a late-season winter storm earlier this week. The NWS in Binghamton, New York showed off a snow-covered National Weather Service as over a foot of snow blanketed the region.
Points to the south, the Allegheny Mountains saw a Winter Weather Advisory on Tuesday as snow reduce visibility and covered roadways.
According to The Weather Channel, over 200 thousand homes and businesses in New York state lost power as of Tuesday morning as the system pushed east.
Your Local Weekend Forecast
Friday will be another warm and mostly sunny day in Norman. Temperatures will climb into the lower 80s but will also be accompanied by a south wind between 15 and 25 miles per hour.
Wind gusts will be much higher, anywhere from 40 to 45 miles per hour in and around the Oklahoma City and Norman metro areas, according to the NWS Norman.
A wind advisory is also in effect for portions of the Sooner State until Saturday at 7pm CST. The NWS Norman warns that “Tree limbs could be blown down and a few power outages may result.”
Another storm system is expected to bring severe weather to portions of the area Saturday and into Sunday. Norman is under a slight risk for severe storms Saturday afternoon and evening, with large hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornadoes all possible.
The system will bring several rounds of rainfall to the central and southern portions of the state through Sunday, as temperatures will fall into the upper 70s on Saturday and the upper 60s on Sunday.
Your National Weekend Forecast
Fire weather will be of high concern on Friday. The Storm Prediction Center said cities including Denver, Albuquerque, and Colorado Springs can expect extreme fire conditions due to temperatures in the upper 70s and lower to middle 80s, five to 15 percent humidity, and 30 to 40 mile per hour winds with gusts between 50 and 60 miles per hour.
Because of the adjacent severe risk, there is also the potential for dry thunderstorms, which could also spark wildfires. The NWS Albuquerque shared some advice for residents should they be told to evacuate due to wildfires that develop.
The Storm Prediction Center has portions of western Kansas, central Nebraska, and both the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles under an enhanced risk for severe weather on Friday. This is a level three out of five risk.
The NWS Dodge City, Kansas warns that storms could produce several severe storms with damaging winds in excess of 70 miles per hour, baseball-size hail, and tornadoes.
On Saturday, the severe threat will push east, affecting portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. A slight risk will be present, affecting cities such as Oklahoma City, Kansas City, Tulsa, Omaha, Des Moines, and Minneapolis.
While the risks shift east, the National Weather Service warns that these storms will drop locally heavy rainfall and the potential for flooding due to the system’s slow movement Saturday into Sunday.
Also this weekend, a winter storm will take shape across the Rocky Mountains and Northern Plains.
The NWS Glasgow, Montana has issued a blizzard warning for portions of eastern Montana from Friday at midnight to Sunday at 6am MDT. This warning will encompass snowfall totals between six and 16 inches, winds gusting at 50 miles per hour, and ice totals of one-tenth inch.
If in the warned areas, plan to have a winter survival kit with you at all times. Travel is not recommended due to low visibility and treacherous roadways, but if necessary, stay with your vehicle if stranded.