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Expect multiple punches of wintry weather

by Bryan Painter Published: December 4, 2013
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From the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office (at 4:23 a.m. Wednesday):

Surface low pressure over southeast Kansas early this morning trailed a cold front southwest to near Ponca City to Elk City in Oklahoma. The front was the leading edge of a much colder airmass that was ultimately centered near Whitehorse…Yukon…and featured a ridge southeast into the central and southern Plains. this airmass will be with us for at least the next week.

Some patchy freezing drizzle was occurring this morning over southwest Kansas…and there is a possibility that it could find its way into northern Oklahoma this morning. Even if it does…the effects should be minimal.

More significant precipitation is expected to begin tomorrow morning…as a large upper-level trough advances toward the plains from the west. It appears that there will be several rounds of precipitation as multiple impulses move out from the trough. Initially…about the southeast half of our forecast area will probably receive relatively light freezing rain…while snow and sleet will occur in the northwest. As time progresses…the snow…sleet…and freezing rain areas will shift toward the southeast. The main wave will then pass over Oklahoma/north Texas Thursday night and Friday…bringing the heaviest precipitation of the event. This is the time of greatest concern for heavy snow and sleet…and ice accumulation. We have shifted these areas slightly southeast of the previous forecast…due to the expectation of somewhat colder temperatures. At this time…it appears likely that a marginal winter storm event will occur within the bounds of the current watch area…although a serious ice storm is quite possible in our far southeast counties. Confidence is too low for a winter storm warning at this time…but if forecast models remain reasonably consistent…a warning will probably be justified later today.

After the main event moves off to the east…there will be a brief break in precipitation. however…another large upper-level system will approach in a similar manner as its predecessor. It is forecast to bring warmer and very moist air over the low-level cold air…and will generate another period of snow/sleet/freezing rain…although amounts should be lighter this time. This precipitation event is expected to occur from Saturday through Sunday. After that…dry and cold weather will remain over the region through at least the middle of next week. Medium-range models do suggest some warming late next week…but confidence in those forecasts that far out is very low.

 

From the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office (As of 4:27 a.m., Wednesday): A Winter Storm Watch remains in effect from Thursday morning through

Friday afternoon for Grant, Kay, Garfield, Noble, Custer, Blaine, Kingfisher, Logan, Payne, Washita, Caddo, Canadian, Oklahoma, Lincoln, Grady, McClain, Cleveland, Pottawatomie, Seminole, Hughes, Harmon, Greer, Kiowa, Jackson, Tillman, Comanche, Stephens, Garvin, Murray, Pontotoc, Coal, Cotton, Jefferson, Carter, Johnston, Atoka, Love, Marshall, Bryan counties.

A winter storm watch remains in effect from Thursday morning through Friday afternoon.

Significant amounts of snow…sleet…and freezing rain are expected over parts of Oklahoma and north Texas. In general…the main snow and sleet impacts are most likely to occur near…and north of…a line from Vernon, Texas…to Lawton…to Norman and Shawnee. Farther south and east…ice accumulation will be the main concern. A serious ice storm is possible in south-central and southeast Oklahoma…mostly likely south of a line from Ardmore to Coalgate.

* Timing: Light freezing rain may begin Thursday mainly over   western north texas and the southern half of Oklahoma. Heavier   freezing rain…sleet…and snow are expected from Thursday   evening through Friday morning.

 

The first wave of precipitation will start on Thursday. Precipitation will be light

snow northwest and light freezing rain farther southeast.

Accumulations are expected to be light Thursday, but some travel problems

may begin, especially in areas of freezing rain.

From the National Weather Service, Tulsa Forecast Office:

There is a Winter Storm Warning in effect from noon Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday for Pushmataha, Choctaw and Le Flore counties.

Rain that develops Thursday morning will turn to freezing rain    or a mix of freezing rain and sleet as surface temperatures fall    below 32 degrees  Thursday afternoon. Mixed freezing rain and    sleet will continue much of Thursday night into Friday morning    before the precipitation eventually transitions to snow before    ending. 

Over one half inch of freezing rain will be possible in this    warning area along with significant sleet. Should the freezing    rain transition to sleet early…sleet amounts could exceed    two inches with freezing rain amounts of one quarter to one    half inch.

And, from the National Weather Service, Tulsa Forecast Office, there is a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. CST Friday for Cherokee, Adair, Creek, Okfuskee, Okmulgee,    Wagoner, Tulsa, Rogers, Mayes, Delaware, Pawnee, Ottawa,     Washington, Osage, Craig, Nowata, Pittsburg, Sequoyah,     McIntosh, Muskogee, Latimer and Haskell counties.

 Wintry precipitation will develop over eastern Oklahoma and    northwest Arkansas Thursday morning. There will likely be a    several hour break in measurable precipitation Thursday afternoon    and early Thursday evening. Another round of moderate to    heavy snow sleet and freezing rain will occur Thursday night    and Friday morning.

 Locations along and northwest of the Interstate 44 corridor    will likely see snow and sleet transitioning to all snow.    Far southeast Oklahoma and west central Arkansas will see    mostly freezing rain…before a transition to sleet Friday.

   Locations in east central Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas will    see all precipitation types…transitioning from a prolonged    period of freezing rain and sleet to just sleet and eventually snow.

 The counties in this warning can expect upwards of five inches    of snow…or…a couple inches of snow and an inch or two of sleet.

From the National Weather Service, Amarillo, Texas (coverage area includes

the Oklahoma Panhandle). Wind chills of 15 to negative 15 are possible in the Panhandles.

 


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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