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Alva resident talks about bitter cold this morning

by Bryan Painter Modified: January 6, 2014 at 10:30 am •  Published: January 6, 2014

ALVA  —  It wasn’t a fist, it wasn’t a 2-by-4, it was the bitter cold that struck Jake Kelln, manager at Wheeler Brothers Grain Co. in Alva, when he went out to the pickup this morning to head work.

The Oklahoma Mesonet weather network station shows Alva had a wind chill as low as negative 25 degrees this morning.

And their actual temperature was negative 8.5 degrees at 7:30 a.m.

“It is terrible,” he said. “I left the house at 7 o’clock this morning and it (the actual temperature) was negative 8 then.

“When I first walked out to start my diesel truck, I didn’t know if I was going to get it going or not. The thing about it, if we are going to have to endure temperatures like this, you wish there was a foot of snow on the ground for the moisture.”

But he said, “We’ve got just enough moisture to kind of keep this wheat going. We’ll take these temperatures to get whatever moisture we can to grow a wheat crop.”

Kelln said over the weekend they received about a half-inch of snow and a little ice before that. He thinks that when that is melted down, it will translate to about two-tenths liquid.

The wheat is dormant and he said their wheat fields are snow covered, “which is a good thing.”

“We’ve had a little bit of blowing snow and that’s kind of carrying the snow off the fields to the bar ditches,” Kelln said. “But like I said before, we’ll take anything, we can get at this point.

“We’re still in a lot better shape than we were this time last year.”

A return to cold in Nowata

At 7:10 a.m. Monday, the Oklahoma Mesonet at Nowata recorded an actual temperature of negative 12 degrees. On Feb. 10, 2011 the actual temperature plummeted to a statewide record low, reaching minus 31 degrees at Nowata. That day, the Oklahoma Mesonet station in Medford recorded a wind chill of minus 47 degrees.

In February 2011, Nowata went from the state record low on Feb. 10 to a high temperature of 79 degrees seven days later, a swing of 110 degrees.

This weather system

This weekend, on Saturday afternoon into Saturday night, the Canadian air mass started to make its way south into Oklahoma, said Kevin Brown, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office.

“It had been entrenched across the Northern Plains for quite awhile,” Brown said. “It got nudged south and that’s what we experienced Saturday night, yesterday and we’re probably going to experience it through tonight. Pretty much everywhere in Oklahoma will stay below freezing today.

“Tonight is not going to be quite as cold. We can probably count on maybe about a five to 10 degree improvement on lows tonight.”

Brown said “The whole pattern of the atmosphere will be changing tonight and tomorrow and it looks like this Arctic air will be eroded and move to our east. Far north central Oklahoma may stay in the upper 30s to the low 40s up there. But we are expecting temperatures in the 40s pretty much everywhere across the state for Tuesday.

“Although we will be warmer tomorrow (Tuesday) the increasing south wind will still feel quite cold. Wind chills Tuesday morning will start off as low as the single digits.”

by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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