Autumn has at least temporarily been pushed aside by wintry temperatures in much of Oklahoma.
And with that most of Oklahoma is expected to be under a hard freeze warning from Tuesday night into Wednesday, depending on the area of the state.
“A hard freeze is generally thought of as one where the temperatures get low enough and for a long enough period to kill certain crops and sensitive plants,” said Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey. “Some would define that as temperature at 28 degrees, some would say 24 degrees, etc.”
“Much of the northwestern area has already seen a hard freeze,” McManus said. “And as far as the ‘hard freeze' aspect with lows in the lower 20s, this is perhaps a bit early in the southern half of the state.”
Across the state, the record lows for this time frame are from the single digits to the low teens, so we are not into that range yet, McManus said.
A National Weather Service meteorologist from the Norman Forecast Office said a cold front had moved into the Oklahoma City metro in the evening hours Monday.
Barnes said that the central Oklahoma forecast for overnight Monday into Tuesday included sustained winds about 25 mph and stronger gusts about 35 mph. The winds were expected to continue through sunrise Tuesday.
Plus, overnight, they anticipated some drizzle in areas including the Oklahoma City metro. However, they did not expect freezing precipitation, “although very light freezing drizzle cannot be ruled out entirely,” Barnes said.
The weather service, as of Monday, was looking for highs in the 40s Tuesday and Wednesday for Oklahoma City. The low Wednesday morning in Oklahoma City could dip into the low 20s.
McManus said highs are likely to be 15 to 25 degrees below normal for this time of the year Tuesday in many areas of the state.
“It probably won't be too much better the following day, although it will be in the 60s in the Panhandle,” McManus said. “Still, the record coolest maximums for this time of year are in the low 30s, so we are still well ahead of any record-type cool weather.”
Daytime high temperatures are expected to warm up into the 50s Thursday and Friday in the Oklahoma City area, according to the National Weather Service forecast.