Severe Thunderstorms, Snow, and Earthquakes (Only In Oklahoma)

Oklahoma was rattled by the strongest earthquake since 2016 (a 5.0 occurred in November of 2016). The 4.6 occurred just after 7:00AM Central near Perry, Oklahoma. Perry is a small town about 64 miles NNE of Oklahoma City.

Tulsa NWS Tweet

USGS Map

The earthquake particularly stands out because much of the state is receiving snow and freezing rain this morning. This comes off of yesterday’s high temperatures reaching the 80s for southern parts of the state and a threat of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

High Temperatures Yesterday (Oklahoma MESONET)

So, how rare is April snow in Oklahoma? Pretty rare! Tulsa recorded snow this morning for only the fourth time it the history of the city for April.

Tulsa NWS Tweet

Only in Oklahoma, can you go from a tornado threat to snow and windchills in the single digits to earthquakes within a 12 hour period!

Today’s Minimum Windchills (Oklahoma MESONET)

Wet West Coast

Wet times are ahead for California, Oregon, and Washington. A potent low will interact with more-than-adequate moisture to create heavy precipitation across parts of California late Thursday into the weekend. The rich moisture is ‘streaming’ off of the central-Pacific, which is sometimes coined the “Pineapple Express” in meteorology. The heavy precipitation may cause flash flooding and mudslides in California with more moderate amounts further north into Oregon and Washington.

Rich Stream Of Moisture Moving Off Of The Pacific (Pineapple Express)
NAM Rainfall Totals Through Sunday Morning
Much of northern and central California is under Flood Watches from the National Weather Service from late this week into the weekend.

Latest From The National Weather Service
This area can expect widespread 2-4″ amounts of rain with areas in the middle and higher terrain seeing 4-8″ amounts. Isolated 8-14″ rainfall totals are possible. Most of the precipitation will remain liquid; however, above 9,500′ will likely see very heavy wet snow.

Oregon and Washington will get in on the action, too. As a strong low approaches the coast, surface winds may exceed 50mph at times.

NAM Winds Saturday Morning

Severe Storms To Snow!

A strong cold front will move through the Southern Plains Friday into Friday evening. Enough moisture should return to allow a few strong to severe storms to develop along the cold front in southern Oklahoma, northern and central Texas, central and southern Arkansas, and northern Louisiana.

Thunderstorm Outlook Map From The Storm Prediction Center

Attention then turns to Friday night into Saturday morning. A shortwave will dive into Oklahoma creating a chance for light precipitation. At this point, post-frontal temperatures will be near or below freezing in Kansas, central and norther Oklahoma, Missouri, northern Arkansas, and northern Tennessee with very cold air aloft. Modeled soundings indicate the precipitation that develops may fall as a rain/sleet mixture before transitioning to a sleet/snow mixture as shallow cold air advection continues.

Preliminary Wintry Precipitation Map From Firsthand Weather

It is too early to forecast accumulations, but the best chance for accumulations is across Kansas and Missouri.

Snow chances will increase for the Mid-Atlantic and parts of North Carolina later on Saturday. Accumulations are possible in this area. More information to come in the coming days.