10:45 p.m. update: A severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for much of the immediate metro area through 11:30 p.m. due to the potential for damaging winds of 60+ mph. I’m unconvinced winds will get that high and think the main hazard with these storms is heavy rain.
10:30 p.m. update: An area of thunderstorms with very heavy rain is moving through much of the immediate metro area. A quick 0.5-1 inch of rain is possible, with locally higher amounts before the storms shift east and taper between 11:30 p.m. and midnight.
From 4:30 p.m.: The same cold front that produced the violent weather in Oklahoma moves into our region this evening. No destructive storms here, but a few gusty ones with downpours are likely. It turns markedly cooler Friday and windy, with below normal temperatures.
Through Tonight: There’s a slightly better than even chance of showers and thunderstorms (wherever you happen to be this evening). A few could be borderline severe, with strong winds and small hail. Storms decrease after sunset, but some tamer showers linger. Cooler air starts to work in towards morning with lows in the upper 50s most spots to low 60s downtown.
Tomorrow (Friday): Variably cloudy and, oddly, I’ll describe the prelude to the Memorial Day weekend as blustery. Winds from the northwest at 15-25 mph, gusting over 30 mph at times usher in unseasonably chilly air, with highs only in the mid-to-upper 60s. A shower or two can’t be ruled out in the afternoon (30 percent chance).
Update to Saturday forecast: The European model is no longer suggesting as gloomy a day as it was yesterday. It’s come around more to the idea of other models of at least partial sunshine (especially by afternoon), though a bit breezy and cool, with highs near 70.
Pollen: Grass and tree counts are both HIGH.
Moore, Oklahoma tornado updates: I’ve come across a few interesting items today:
1) The National Weather Service office in Norman, Okla, which issued outlooks and warnings for Moore, prepared a briefing exhibiting how well the event was forecast: Briefing link
2) Mike Smith, a senior vice president at AccuWeather, posted a fascinating analysis on his blog: More Than 200 Lives Likely Saved By Moore Warnings
3) Google maps imagery shows the stunning extent of the devastation from the EF-twister around Moore. Follow this link: Moore, Oklahoma Tornado by Google Crisis Response