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Record Maximum 92 F BUFF 2003
Record Minimum 21 F EVAX 2018
Record Rainfall 3.46" TALI 2013

* Mesonet History = since 1994

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MESONET TICKER ... MESONET TICKER ... MESONET TICKER ... MESONET TICKER ...
April 1, 2020      April 1, 2020      April 1, 2020      April 1, 2020       


Marching back

 
APRIL FOOL! Yes, me. 

We're mostly talking March on today's Ticker, although some folks say we're 
mostly talking gibberish. But that's darned near every day. 

The most interesting aspect of today's weather is the warm/windy/dry conditions
in the far western Panhandle, setting those folks up for high fire danger. There
is a Red Flag warning for that area as winds are expected to be gusting over 
35 mph, temperatures will be near 80, and RHs down into the 11-15% range.

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/latest.oklahoma.fire.gif

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/panhandle-fire-danger.png

Unfortunately, little in the way of rain is forecast for that drought plagued 
area, at least over the next week. 

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/7day-rain-forecast.gif

Well, we'll deal with tomorrow's weather tomorrow, when our forecast will be a
lot more present...I mean accurate. Let's talk March. Did you know that 
parts of southern Oklahoma have probably seen their last freeze already? And
did you know that occurred back in February? 

Well, read on, Macduff.    

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spring Steps Forward During March
April 1, 2020

Winter seemed to take a final bow after February in Oklahoma, leaving March with 
a warm and wet transition to spring. Areas of southern Oklahoma failed to see
temperatures dip below freezing, and Hollis managed to hit 100 degrees on one of 
the earliest dates in state history. The lack of wintry weather was replaced by 
active spring weather. Severe storms were not prevalent, but there were three 
distinct storm systems that brought damaging weather to the state. Severe 
storms on the 19th spawned at least two tornadoes according to preliminary data
from the National Weather Service. The first twister touched down just after 
midnight on the 19th near Olive in Creek County, damaging trees and a few 
structures. The second tornado struck later that morning near Okemah in 
Okfuskee County, again damaging trees and a few structures. The two confirmed 
tornadoes became the fourth and fifth the state has seen thus far in 2020, 
equaling the 1950-2019 average for those three months. 

According to preliminary data from the Oklahoma Mesonet, the statewide average 
rainfall total was 4.93 inches, 1.89 inches above normal to rank as the fifth 
wettest March since records began in 1895. As is usually the case in Oklahoma,
the heftiest totals were primarily across eastern sections. Totals from 6-9 
inches were common southeast of Interstate 44, with Byars leading the way at 
9.44 inches for the month. Of the Mesonet’s 120 sites, 74 had at least 5 inches
of rain, and 25 of those sites had at least 7 inches. The only stations that 
failed to reach at least an inch were in the far northwest, including three of 
the sites in the drought plagued western Panhandle. Kenton had the lowest March
total with 0.32 inches. The far northwest was the only area of the state with a
moisture deficit – generally less than an inch – while surpluses generally grew
to 1-3 inches elsewhere. Southwestern and south central Oklahoma saw their third
wettest Marches on record at 2.42 inches and 2.94 inches above normal, 
respectively. 

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/march-rain-totals.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/march-rain-departure.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/march-rain-pct.png

The first three months of the year finished with a statewide average of 10.21 
inches, 3.78 inches above normal to rank as the fifth wettest January-March 
since 1895.

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/Jan-March-rain-totals.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/Jan-March-rain-departure.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/Jan-March-rain-pct.png 
 
The statewide average temperature was 54.9 degrees according to the Mesonet, 
4.5 degrees above normal to rank as the 12th warmest March on record. That 
lofty ranking was owed as much to the lack of cold weather as to an abundance 
of warm weather. 

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-avg-temps.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-avg-temps-departure.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-avg-max-temps.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-max-temps-departure.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-avg-min-temps.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-min-temps-departure.png

Fifteen Mesonet sites failed to dip below freezing during the month, and more 
than half spent less than 10 hours at or below 32 degrees. Eva led the state 
with 76 hours below freezing. 

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March-hours-below-freezing.png

The month’s lowest temperature of 20 degrees occurred at three different sites 
over two days. The month’s highest temperature was a record breaker. Hollis 
reached 100 degrees on the 26th for 2020’s first triple-digit temperature, the 
last dating back to Sept. 27, 2019. It also set the mark for the highest 
temperature ever recorded on any March 26 in Oklahoma history. The 
January-March statewide average temperature was 46.4 degrees, 2.9 degrees above
normal to rank as the 16th warmest such period since 1895.

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/Jan-March-avg-temps.png 

Very little drought remained in the state at the end of March, although the 
heaviest precipitation failed to hit the most stricken area. The far western 
Panhandle remained in moderate-to-severe drought, virtually unchanged since 
the beginning of last fall. Smaller areas of persistent drought in the far 
southwest received enough precipitation to be improved to the point of 
elimination. The April temperature and precipitation outlooks from the Climate
Prediction Center (CPC) do not provide much hope for drought relief in the 
western Panhandle with increased odds of above normal temperatures and 
precipitation over much of the state, but no such indications in that area. 
Given those outlooks, CPC’s April drought outlook expects some relief for the 
remaining dry conditions in the far southwest, but persistence and possibly 
even more development southeastward in the western Panhandle. 

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/March24-drought.monitor.png

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/april-temperature-outlook.gif

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/april-precip-outlook.gif

http://ticker.mesonet.org/archive/20200401/april-drought-outlook.png 

Gary McManus
State Climatologist
Oklahoma Mesonet
Oklahoma Climatological Survey
(405) 325-2253
gmcmanus@mesonet.org