Memories of the Christmas Eve 2009 storm have been talked about a lot in the past few days.
That blizzard dumped about a foot of windblown snow in portions of central Oklahoma, much like the storm that hit the region Tuesday.
But this time, holiday travel wasn't a factor.
“What you don't have are the people who are determined to get to the mall or to take that trip to grandma's house for their holiday event,” said
Also helpful, Ooten said, is that so many agencies are working together and were working together in advance of the storm. Planning began Thursday in many cases.
In the state emergency operations center, located about 25 feet below ground north of the state Capitol, representatives from many of these agencies sit next to each other. For example, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is sitting next to the Oklahoma National Guard. In some cases in northeastern Oklahoma, the National Guard has assisted OHP with stranded motorists.
Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency came in early on this event, Ooten said. Thus, they had generators, meals, cots, bottled water and other supplies ready. Those supplies had not been needed as of midday Tuesday.
“It helps when you have the partnerships instilled already,” she said. “Of course, we've had a lot of practice with so many disasters and so many emergency incidents in our state.
“However, again, the other factor here is that Oklahomans listened and did their part.”
About the storm
Moisture came from the south and strong arctic temperatures from the north. With the combination of those two, a storm developed along the front with accelerating winds that led to the blizzard, said Mike Foster, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office.
There were sustained winds of 30 to 35 mph with gusts of 40 to 45 mph and some gusts up to 60 mph.
Meteorologists said in advance that these temperatures would be lower than those of the 2009 Christmas Eve storm and that proved true.
At 9:05 a.m. Tuesday, the Oklahoma Mesonet weather site at Boise City in the Panhandle had a wind chill of minus-36 degrees. That is the lowest wind chill ever recorded by the Mesonet. The previous record was minus-32 degrees at Kenton on Feb. 3, 1996. Also Tuesday, Goodwell had a wind chill of minus-