In Oklahoma, weather seems to be anyone’s guess, which can make lawn care (and life) difficult! But winter in Tulsa, on the average, is “usually mild.” Tulsa has a temperate, subtropical climate with an average temperature of 60⁰. Pretty hard to believe, huh? We all remember the massive ice storm of 2007, the blizzard of 2011 with -13⁰ temperatures, and the 115⁰ days this past summer. Temperate? Hmmph!
So, what are we looking at this year? We had expected El Nino to be here by now, but it’s either really late or not coming at all. They're calling what we have La Nada!
Our USDA hardiness zone is 7a, which is a transition zone. These weather predictions indicate that we are truly in a transition zone for weather also. Perhaps that’s why we never know what to expect! Oh, bad news: almost every website I checked said next year will be a bad hurricane season, starting in June.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac has us right in the middle of a line from the Dakotas down to Texas that divides the U.S., with the east half getting much colder temperatures, and the west half getting warmer temperatures. We’re also right on the line for the area predicted to have above average snowfall which includes a triangular area from El Paso to Detroit to Virginia Beach. If you draw a straight line from El Paso to Detroit, it pretty much goes right through Tulsa!
The Weather Centre predicts that a neutral ENSO status (El Nino-southern Oscillation) will give us conditions somewhere between El Nino and La Nina, in other words, neutral. Not overly cold, not overly warm. Apparently, the oncoming El Nino just disappeared!
NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) favors drier and warmer than normal conditions, but they admit they’re a little stymied by El Nino’s lack of appearance, because El Nino’s climate pattern would give them a little more confidence in predicting the way the winter will proceed.
LiveWeatherBlogs.com believes we will have “near normal snowfall” and above normal to normal temperatures. They also say a bunch of stuff about El Nino, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Arctic Oscillation, displayed in a bunch of cool charts which I couldn’t quite sort out, but feel free to visit their website and check them out!
Accuweather.com predicts average snowfall for Oklahoma & Texas, and possibly some relief from the drought late in the winter and into next spring.
Although it’s hard to tell what winter will bring, it’s always good to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Right now, our lawns and landscapes are getting ready to go into winter in an exceptionally dry condition. We’re still 10” behind in rainfall for the year, and winds have been high and gusty, which dries out a landscape in a heartbeat! Last night Channel 2 reported that it's been 39 days since we had rain, and that was 1/10 of an inch.
Please water your landscape every chance you get on nice days. Hopefully, we’ll get some rain this weekend, but we’re a far cry from the rainy fall weather we’d hoped for. The drought this year, combined with the drought last year, adds up to very adverse conditions for trees and shrubs, and they are struggling! And our bermuda lawns desperately need moisture for insulation against cold temperatures