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Arctic Air Plunges into the Great Lakes, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic

Arctic air dropping through the northern and eastern U.S. and a storm off the east coast will bring periods of snow, very cold wind chills and hazardous traveling conditions from the Upper Great Lakes to the Northeast. Meanwhile in southern California, Santa Ana winds will decrease but hot, dry air will remain over the area with elevated fire weather conditions. Read More >

 

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February 2016 & Winter 2015-16

  • Tulsa: February 2016 was the 8th warmest (48.7°F; since 1905) and the 19th driest (0.59"; since 1888) February on record. No snow fell in February 2016 (2009 was the last time there was no February snowfall).
  • Fort Smith: No daily records were set or tied this month.
  • Fayetteville: February 2016 was the 18th warmest (42.6°F, tied 1995, 1984; since 1950) and the 2nd driest (0.64", current record is 0.22" in 1996; since 1950) February on record.  Only a trace of snow fell in February.
  • McAlester: there were only 2 days with measureable rain in February: 0.03" on 2/02/2016 and 1.33" on 2/26/2016.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for February 2016 ranged from 0.25” to around 4”. Most of the area received 0.50”-2” of rain this month. This corresponds to only 10%-50% of the normal February rain north of Hwy 412 in northeast OK and northwest AR. South of Hwy 412, most of the region received 25%-90% of the normal February rain. A few isolated locations, primarily in Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Creek, Latimer, and Le Flore Counties, ended the month with above normal rainfall, receiving 110% to near 200% of the normal February rain.
  • It was a warm and dry February 2016 for most of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas. Despite a dry first two months of 2016, a very wet December resulted in above normal temperatures and precipitation for Winter 2015-16.
  • According to the Drought Monitor from March 1, 2016, there were not drought or abnormally dry conditions present in eastern OK and northwest AR.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the 30-day period January 30-February 28, 2016 was the 11th driest for northeast Oklahoma, the 22nd driest for east central Oklahoma, and the 27th driest for southeast Oklahoma. Records go back to 1921.  For the Year-to-Date period Jan. 1-Feb. 28, 2016,  northeast Oklahoma ranked as the 12th driest, east central Oklahoma was the 12th driest, and southeast Oklahoma was the 11th driest period.
Winter (Dec-Jan-Feb) 2015-16
  • Tulsa: Winter 2015-16 was the 3rd warmest (44.4°F; since 1905-06) and the 5th wettest (9.80"; since 1888-89) Winter on record. 3.0" of snow fell Dec-Feb.
  • Fort Smith: Winter 2015-16 was the 5th warmest (45.9°F; since 1882-83) and the 7th wettest (12.96"; since 1882-83) Winter on record.  A trace of snow fell December-February.
  • Fayetteville: Winter 2015-16 was the 10th warmest (40.9°F, tied 1994-95; since 1949-50) and the 7th wettest (12.10"; since 1949-50) Winter on record.  Only a trace of snow fell December-February.
  • Using the radar-derived estimated observed precipitation from the RFCs, rainfall totals for Winter 2016 ranged from around 4” to near 25” from northwest to southeast across eastern OK and northwest AR. Most of the area received 8”-15” of rain this season. This corresponds to 110% to around 200% of the normal Winter rain across most of eastern OK and northwest AR. The western portions of Osage and Pawnee Counties received 75%-100% of the normal Winter rain. This was all primarily due to the record December rainfall. Both January and February were dry with below normal rainfall.
  • According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, Winter 2015-16 (December 1, 2015-February 29, 2016) was the 1st (record) wettest in northeast Oklahoma, east central Oklahoma ranked as the 1st (record) wettest, and southeast Oklahoma was the 2nd wettest period.  Records go back to 1921.
Outlook
  • The Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlook for March 2016 (issued February 29, 2016) indicates equal chances for above, near, and below normal temperatures across all of eastern OK and northwest AR. This outlook also calls for a slightly enhanced chance for above median precipitation across eastern OK and equal chances for above, near, and below median precipitation across northwest AR. This outlook is based on both short- and extended-range weather forecasts. The ongoing, strong El Niño will be the primary driver of climate over North America in March. While El Niño is predicted to decrease during the spring, it is probable that El Niño conditions will remain strong for most of March, and this outlook reflects the impacts of El Niño
  • For the 3-month period March-April-May 2016, CPC is forecasting an equal chance for above, near, and below normal temperatures and precipitation across all of eastern OK and northwest AR (outlook issued February 18, 2016). This outlook is based primarily on both statistical and dynamical forecast tools, with a heavy reliance on typical circulation response to El Niño conditions.
  • According to CPC, strong El Niño conditions persist, but the El Niño has likely peaked. The 2015-16 El Niño is one of the strongest on record. This event is likely to transition to neutral conditions during the late spring or early summer 2016. An El Niño Advisory is in effect.