Monday, February 13, 2017

Central Plains drought helps above average warmth

Temperatures over the weekend warmed into the middle and upper 80's over the south-central Plains.  A lot of that warmth was aided by the very dry conditions over most of Oklahoma.  It's not too uncommon to have highs in the 60's out west, but the drier than normal conditions have taken away a lot of moisture from the ground causing highs to soar well above average.  This has also helped fuel many wildfires recently, with the latest one occurring late last week.

A dry ground heats up a lot faster than a ground that has moisture in it.  And even though current temperatures have cooled from the heat they were dealing with over the weekend, highs are expected to warm back up above average by the middle to end of the week. 

Locally, our temperatures are expected to warm well above average heading into the weekend.  Most of this winter we've had storm systems bring us gusty southerly winds, rather than cold winds from the north.  As another low develops over the High Plains a warm front will draw in an air mass from the west and southwest.  And because this air mass will be originating over a region that continues to warm this winter, our temperatures will warm as well.  Forecast highs Friday - Monday will be in the 50's, if not upper 50's by early next week.  Normal highs this time of year are in the low 30's.  With roughly two weeks of February left it looks like we'll close out the month on the warmer side, just like we did in January.

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