A winter storm packing blowing snow and subzero temperatures is bearing down on Oklahoma today, with snowfall expected to start this afternoon, the National Weather Service reports.
The state is under a winter storm warning today and Wednesday.
Snow in central Oklahoma is expected to end around noon Wednesday. Central and north central Oklahoma could get the heaviest snowfall, said Marc Austin, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Norman. Between 6 and 10 inches of snow is possible statewide.
Snow-packed roads and low visibility for drivers could cause treacherous conditions tonight and Wednesday. The storm is expected to intensify early Wednesday. Wind chill indexes could dip to minus 15 degrees.
In Oklahoma City, street crews have been using trucks with plows on the front to clear rural roads and streets in the city limits.
“We haven't stopped; we've been working 24 hours a day 7 days a week since last week,” city spokeswoman Kristy Yager said.
Yager said crews will continue working this afternoon. Crews are facing fatigue but will continue to focus their efforts on keeping streets and roads clear.
Meanwhile, the state Emergency Operations Center has been activated, as officials with the state Emergency Management Department are working with local emergency managers, the state Transportation Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the Oklahoma National Guard, the state Health Department, the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, FEMA, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and numerous other emergency response and recovery partners in planning for the storm's arrival, according to a news release.
The Oklahoma City area forecast from the weather service is as follows:
Today: Snow likely mainly after 3 p.m. Cloudy with a high near 32. East wind between 11 and 21 mph with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60 percent. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Tonight: Snow, freezing rain and sleet likely before 10 p.m., then snow. Widespread blowing snow after 2 a.m. Low around 9. Wind chill values as low as minus 6. North northeast wind between 16 and 18 mph with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 3 to 7 inches possible.
Wednesday: Snow and widespread blowing snow before noon, then a chance of snow after noon. High near 18. Wind chill values as low as minus 8. North wind between 11 and 17 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent.
Wednesday night: Mostly cloudy with a low around 1. North, northwest wind between 8 and 10 mph.
Thursday: Sunny with a high near 29.
Thursday night: Clear with a low around 12.
Friday: Sunny with a high near 34.
Friday night: Mostly clear with a low around 19.
Saturday: Mostly sunny with a high near 46.
Saturday night: Mostly clear with a low around 32.
Sunday: Mostly sunny with a high near 56.
Sunday night: Mostly clear with a low around 37.
Monday: Sunny with a high near 58.