Averages offer some clues to Oklahoma's winter prediction

FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: October 16, 2009
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Less than a month into fall, the question frequently asked is about what can be expected in terms of winter weather, specifically from December through February.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center issued the 2009-10 Winter Outlook on Thursday, but there was no clear indication of what Oklahoma can expect in terms of above- or below-average precipitation or temperatures, said Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

However, McManus was able to provide averages based on past winters.

Oklahoma’s statewide average winter low temperature is 26.8 degrees, while the average winter high temperature is 50.7 degrees. Average winter high temperatures range from about 47 degrees in north-central areas to about 56 degrees in far southeastern sections.

The average winter low temperatures range from about 22 degrees in the far western Panhandle to about 32 degrees in the far southeast.

As for precipitation, the statewide average in winter is 2.74 inches.

While far southeastern Oklahoma averages about 11 inches of precipitation, the western Panhandle averages a little more than 1 inch of precipitation.

Snowfall, from December through February, ranges from an average of a little less than 2 inches in the far southeast to an average of about 18 inches in the western Panhandle.

Also, since 2000, Oklahoma has had seven major storms producing ice of more than an inch.