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Heavy Snow For Portions of the Northeast; Great Lakes

Moderate to heavy snow will return to the Northeast and New England over the next couple of days. Heavy Lake Effect Snow will continue to the lee of the Great Lakes. Light snow will fall across portions of the Tennessee Valley; working into the Mid-Atlantic by mid-week. Meanwhile, elevated fire weather conditions will continue in southern California. Read More >

Fall 2014 Highlights

Jump To: Temperatures Precipitation Drought Progression
  Tulsa - Averages & Records Fort Smith - Averages & Records Fayetteville - Averages & Records
  Weather Highlights Winter 2014-2015 Outlook  

Temperatures . . .

The following line graphs depict the mean temperature for the months of September - November (in blue) along with the expected mean temperature (in red) for Tulsa, OK, Fort Smith, AR and Fayetteville, AR.  The mean temperatures were taken from 1980 - 2010.

The fall months of 2014 started out near normal, with September average temperatures at all three climate sites falling within 1 degree of the normal average temperature.  Conditions warmed slightly in October, with average temperatures running between 2 - 4 degrees above normal.  Tulsa was 3.5 degrees above normal, Fort Smith was 2.8 degrees above normal, and Fayetteville was 2.1 degrees above normal.  November brought cooler than normal temperatures, with all three climate sites between 5 - 6 degrees below normal.  This was mainly due to a cold period in the middle of November, from Nov 12 - Nov 18, when temperatures were 15 - 25 degrees below normal.  Several new low temperature records were set during this time.


Precipitation . . .

The following bar graphs depict the mean precipitation for the months of September - November (in blue) along with the expected mean precipitation (in red) for Tulsa, OK, Fort Smith, AR and Fayetteville, AR.  The mean precipitation amounts were taken from 1980 - 2010.

The 2014 fall season started out

dry, with all three sites receiving below normal amounts of precipitation during the month of September (Tulsa -1.76", Fort Smith -2.55", Fayetteville -1.16").  Most of the rainfall for the month occurred during two periods of the month: September 19 - 20, and on September 28.  Precipitation increased across the forecast area during the month of October, bringing near normal amounts to Tulsa (-0.41") and Fort Smith (-0.14"), and above normal amounts to Fayetteville (+1.22").  Drier than normal conditions returned for late fall, with below normal precipitation falling during November for Tulsa (-0.90"), and with Fort Smith (-2.04") and Fayetteville (-1.99") receiving less than half the expected amounts.

The following bar graphs depict the mean snowfall for the months of September - November (in blue) along with the expected mean snowfall (in red) for Tulsa, OK, Fort Smith, AR and Fayetteville, AR.  The mean snowfall amounts were taken from 1980 - 2010.

Snow occurred only during the month of November this past fall, with Trace amounts recorded in Fort Smith and Fayetteville on November 16, while Tulsa received a bit more snowfall that day with 0.4 inches.


Drought Progression . . .

The following chart depicts the amount of precipitation that fell leading up to, and during the fall months of 2014, and how that impacted the current drought across the area.  The first image is the amount of rainfall that fell during the month (observed precipitation).  The second image is the percentage of expected rainfall that fell during the month (percent of normal).  The third image is the state of drought near the end of that month (drought progression).

  Observed Preciptation Percent of Normal Drought Progression
August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

Below normal precipitation fell during late summer month of August, helping the minor drought conditions across northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas to persist into early fall.  While extreme northeast Oklahoma and west central Arkansas received above normal rainfall during September, the rest of the foreast area only saw between 75%-25% of their normal monthly precipitaiton.  This caused the low end drought conditions to expand across all of northeast Oklahoma and into portions of southeast Oklahoma, with D-2 conditions (severe drought) continuing across much of Osage, Pawnee, and Creek counties.  October brought some much needed rainfall, with all the climate sites (Tulsa, Fort Smith, & Fayetteville) receiving above normal precipitation.  The drough conditions along and east of a line from Bartlesville to Hugo disappeared, with the D-2 condtions (severe drought) persisting across much of Osage, Pawnee, and Creek counties.  November once again brought below normal precipitation to all but Okfuskee County, allowing the minor drought conditions to spread into southeast Oklahoma, with D-1 (moderate drought) and a small area of D-2 (severe drought) drought persisted across Osage, Pawnee, and Creek counties.


Averages and Records . . .

Below are tables for Tulsa, OK, Fort Smith, AR and Fayetteville, AR with their monthly averages and records for temperatures and precipitation for the fall months of September - November, along with the fall seasonal average.  Below the tables are the daily temperature and precipitation records set this fall season.

Tulsa:

Tulsa, OK

Average Temperature

Departure from Normal

Rank Record
September 2014 76.4°F +3.4°F 21st hottest 81.9°F in 1931
October 2014 61.2°F -0.6°F 34th coldest 55.9°F in 1925/2009
November 2014 47.3°F -3.0°F 26th coldest 43.1°F in 1976
Fall Season 2014 61.6°F -0.1°F 47th coldest 56.4°F in 1993

* October 4, set a new highest minimum temperature record of 73 degrees (old record was 71 degrees from 2007).

 

Tulsa, OK Precipitation Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 2.50" -1.76" 47th driest 0.00" in 1888/1897
October 2014 3.52" -0.41" 79th driest Trace in 1924/1952
November 2014 1.91" -0.90" 60th driest Trace in 1910
Fall Season 2014 7.93" -3.07" 47th driest 1.66" in 1948

* No daily precipitation records were set during the fall season in Tulsa, OK.

 

Tulsa, OK Snowfall Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 0.0" 0.0" NA NA
October 2014 0.0" -Trace NA 0.3" in 1993
November 2014 0.0" -0.7" NA 10.5" in 2006
Fall Season 2014 0.0" -0.7" NA 10.5" in 2006

* No daily snowfall records were set during the fall season in Tulsa, OK.

 

Fort Smith:

Fort Smith, AR Average Temperature Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 74.5°F +0.6°F 64th hottest 83.4°F in 1939
October 2014 65.6°F +2.8°F 29th hottest 70.6°F in 1963
November 2014 46.6°F -5.0°F 11th coldest 42.0°F in 1976
Fall Season 2014 62.3°F -0.4°F 53rd coldest 55.8°F in 1976

* November 18, tied the lowest minimum temperature record of 18 degrees (other record from 1959).

* November 30, set a new highest maximum temperature record of 79 degrees (old record was 76 degrees from 1933).

 

Fort Smith, AR Precipitation Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 6.90" +2.85" 13th wettest 10.49" in 1934
October 2014 7.90" +3.58" 10th wettest 12.05" in 1951
November 2014 1.58" -2.86" 35th driest 0.26" in 1904
Fall Season 2014 16.38" +3.57" 16th wettest 25.31" in 1984

* October 13, set a new daily precipitation record of 2.04" (old record was 1.34" from 1931).

 

Fort Smith, AR Snowfall Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 0.0" 0.0" NA NA
October 2014 0.0" 0.0" NA Trace in 1993
November 2014 Trace 0.0" 18th snowiest 4.7" in 1976
Fall Season 2014 Trace 0.0" 17th snowiest 4.7" in 1976

* November 16, set a new daily snowfall record of a Trace.

 

Fayetteville:

Fayetteville, AR Average Temperature Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 68.9°F +0.4°F 34th hottest 76.2°F in 1998
October 2014 59.8°F +2.1°F 21st hottest 66.2°F in 1963
November 2014 41.9°F -5.5°F 6th coldest 39.9°F in 1976
Fall Season 2014 56.9°F -1.0°F 13th coldest 53.1°F in 1976

* September 12, set a new lowest maximum temperature record of 62 degrees (old record was 67 degrees from 2006).

* September 12, set a new lowest mean temperature record of 57.0 degrees (old record was 60.0 degrees from 1959).

* October 4, tied the lowest mean temperature record of 50.0 degrees (other record from 1968).

* November 14, tied the lowest minimum temperature record of 14 degrees (other record from 1963).

* November 15, set a new lowest mean temperature record of 27.5 degrees (old record was 29.0 degrees from 1997).

* November 16, set a new lowest maximum temperature record of 35 degrees (old record was 37 degrees from 1989).

* November 18, set a new lowest minimum temperature record of 9 degrees (old record was 12 degrees from 1951).

* November 18, set a new lowest mean temperature record of 26.0 degrees (old record was 27.0 degrees from 1951).

* November 30, set a new highest maximum temperature record of 72 degrees (old record was 70 degrees from 1970).

 

Fayetteville, AR Precipitation Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 3.58" -1.24" 23rd driest 0.40" in 1952
October 2014 7.23" +2.90" 7th wettest 10.69" in 2009
November 2014 2.50" -1.73" 29th driest 0.35" in 2007
Fall Season 2014 13.31" -0.07" 41st driest 3.57" in 1989

* September 2, set a new daily precipitation record of 1.93" (old record was 1.60" from 1974).

* October 13, set a new daily precipitation record of 1.97" (old record was 1.20" from 1981).

 

Fayetteville, AR Snowfall Departure from Normal Rank Record
September 2014 0.0" 0.0" NA NA
October 2014 0.0" -Trace NA 0.3" in 1993
November 2014 Trace -0.2" 15th snowiest 8.0" in 1976
Fall Season 2014 Trace -0.2" 15th snowiest 8.0" in 1976

* November 16, tied the daily snowfall record of a Trace (other record from 1989).

 


Weather Highlights . . .

Here are a few of the more significant events of the fall season 2014, including severe weather, winter weather, heavy rain, drought, and extreme cold.

September:

September Drought and Heat Wave

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

September 19 Severe Weather

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

September 28 Heavy Rainfall

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

The first part of September was very dry, with above normal temperatures due to a large area of high pressure that developed over the west central part of the nation (pictured above left).  All three climate sites (Tulsa, OK, Fort Smith, AR, and Fayetteville, AR) received well below normal precipitation during this time frame, creating slight drought conditions across the area.  Rainfall amounts between Sept 1 - Sept 15 ranged from 0.00" in Tulsa, OK, 0.14" in Fort Smith, AR, and 0.39" in Fayetteville.  A strong cold front pushed into the region on September 19th (pictured above center), bringing cooler temperatures, along with showers and thunderstorms to eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.  During the afternoon hours, a few of the storms became severe, and brought hail and damaging winds to some locations.  A few reports of downed trees were relayed to the National Weather Service, including two from the Midtown and Utica Square areas.  Another cold front push through the region on September 28th (pictured above right), and brought some much needed rainfall to the area.  Tulsa, OK received 1.25", Fort Smith, AR received 0.57", and Fayetteville, AR received 0.82".

October:

October 4 - 5 Thunderstorm and Heavy Rainfall

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

Mid October Below Normal Temperatures

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

October 29 - 31 Heavy Rainfall

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

The first few days of October were warmer than normal, with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.  Late in the evening on October 4, and into the morning hours of October 5, a strong cold front moved into the eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas, triggering showers and thunderstorms across the area (pictured above left).  Heavy rainfall was reported, with the Tulsa, OK area receiving 1.08" of rain, the Fort Smith, AR area receiving 1.03", and the Fayetteville, AR area receiving 2.60" of rain.  The middle to latter portion of October was cooler than normal due to several concurrent cold fronts passing over the region (pictured above center).  Daily high temperatures between October 16 - October 25 ranged from 5 to 15 degrees below normal.  Toward the end of the month, another round of rain showers brought and extended period of wet weather to the region (pictured above right).  Between October 29 - October 31 the Tulsa, OK area received 1.13", the Fort Smith, AR area received 0.67", and the Fayetteville, AR area received 0.83".  Luckily, the precipitation ended before Halloween night, allowing any Trick-Or-Treaters to attend their annual quest for candy.

November:

November 5 - 6 Heavy Rainfall

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

November 12 - 13 Extreme Cold

Photo Credit: NWS Tulsa

November 23 - 26 Winter Weather

Photo Credit: Channel 6 News

During the first week of November, a slow moving cold front moved across the area, bringing a long period of rainfall to eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas (pictured above left).  Between November 4 - 6 the Tulsa, OK area received 1.27" of rain, the Fort Smith, AR area received 1.27" of rain, and the Fayetteville, AR area received 0.59" of rain.  A very strong cold front pushed into the region on November 11, dropping temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees.  Temperatures went from being several degrees above normal on November 11, to 15 degrees below normal on November 13.  Low temperatures November 12 - 13 ranged from the middle teens to the middle 20s (pictured above center).  Several rounds of freezing drizzle and freezing rain occurred between November 23 - 26, forming a light glaze on elevated surfaces and many area roadways.  Numerous car accidents were reported across the area due to the slick conditions, including one on the Will Rogers Turnpike near Tulsa, OK on November 25 (pictured above right).


Winter 2014-2015 Forecast . . .

Below is a chart with the Climate Prediction Center's forecast for both temperatures and precipitation for the next three months (December - February), along with the Seasonal Drought Outlook for the late fall and winter months through February 28.  For temperatures (left), there is an increased chance (40%) of below normal temperatures across most of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas.  This does not mean that there will not be any warm periods during this time frame, but that the temperatures averaged over the entire winter season has a 40% chance of being cooler than average.  For precipitation (center), portions of southeastern Oklahoma are in an area of slightly increased precipitation chances (33%), meaning that overall the late fall and winter months are expected to be slightly wetter than normal. On the other had, northeast Oklahoma and western Arkansas show an "equal chances" rating.  This means that there are no indications that the precipitation amounts will be either above or below normal, thus, normal precipitation, below normal, and above normal are all equally likely.  The third image on the far right depicts the drought outlook for the nation through the end of February.  All of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas is listed in the "no drought posted or predicted" indicating this area is not under a D1 or greater drought, and is not expected to develop drought conditions.

Winter 2014-2015 Temperature Outlook Winter 2014-2015 Precipitation Outlook Winter 2014-2015 Drought Outlook

Updated: January 19, 2015