May 13, 1983 my first storm chase ever. Freshmen at OU and jumped in a Volkswagen Convertible with a stranger named Bruce from California and off we went down HW 9 to the promise land, the Texas Panhandle. Many tornadoes hit that day but I didn't see any. BTW the pic above is from Spring 1984 in Hobart, Oklahoma not 1983...close enough. I've shown this pic before courtesy of photographer Jeff Passner. This certainly captures chasing back in those early days. Nice shorts Wicker! I often look at this pic and wonder, what the heck happened to me? All those other dudes went on to become renown world class meteorologists. All I did was invent the Slater Rater, lol big deal.
Speaking of storm chasing, lets talk weather. The new data is in and it's going to rain today, 98%! If you follow my weather through the years you'll know this already, I rarely go 100% on precipitation unless it's on radar and moving in. There's a reason for that. In Oklahoma sometimes it just doesn't happen but this is looking pretty much like a done deal. My 98% will likely be upgraded to 100% during Wednesday morning as the rain shield spreads in from the southwest.
Here's the upper air weather pattern Wednesday evening.
You can see the upper trough moving northeast across Oklahoma Wednesday into Thursday morning with widespread rain / thunder likely. Still appears locally heavy rain is a good bet across much of the area again. Since grounds are nearly saturated a Flash Flood Watch has been posted Wednesday into Thursday morning as any heavy rainfall could easily cause significant flooding. You can never rule out severe weather this time of year but clouds and rain will keep surface instability too low for widespread severe concerns.
This is cool stuff! Love these hi res computer forecasts even though the run to run accuracy stinks! One of our hi res computer models the HRRR shows the rain moving in from southwest to northeast Wednesday afternoon. Count on vey wet conditions Wednesday afternoon through at least 2am Thursday.
Here's the latest rainfall totals from the 00z NAM computer model run. Right now I'm thinking 3/4" to as much as 3" of rain possible by early Thursday morning! If we get that much rain count on flood warnings.
The National Weather Service in Oklahoma City has outlined and area of greatest concern for flooding next 36 hours but it's really too early to call exactly where the bands of heavy thunderstorms will set up. So it's a general forecast and flooding is possible anywhere the heavy rain bands set up on Wednesday. Pay close attention to possible Flash Flood Warnings Wednesday afternoon / night!
The mid range forecast indicates a pattern very similar to this past weekend starting Friday, Saturday into Sunday. This means severe weather chances ramp up again along with the flood threat!
I've posted above the upper wind flow pattern and the surface pattern predicted for Saturday evening. Again, this over all pattern is similar to last weekend but not identical. Remember no two storm system are exactly alike so this probably won't play out exactly like last weekend.
It's a potent storm system on the weather maps and most of the severe weather signals we look for are coming together for more severe weather and heavy rainfall Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It looks like the meat of the storm system comes through Oklahoma on Saturday so that's the day to watch for widespread severe weather but late Friday out west along dry line also has good potential for sever weather. The threat for severe weather could last into Sunday depending on how fast everything shoves east.
Here's the NWS OKC forecast the way it stands right now.
As always not set in stone especially this far out in time but this is just a heads up on potential severe weather including damaging hail, damaging winds and possible tornadoes over the weekend. Also, the flash flood threat remains high and additional flash flood watches could very well be required.
I will try and nail down the forecast in more detail as we get closer to the event. Until then watch for rain and possible flooding with this first system coming in today and tonight.
I'm a little tired tonight.