Oklahoma forecast calls for possible wintry weather

Oklahoma emergency officials share tips for staying safe during cold weather.
by Bryan Painter Published: November 21, 2013
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Cold weather is coming.

And ice may accompany it, according to the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office.

“We are very certain that the cold air will arrive Thursday and Thursday night with wind chill values primarily in the teens and 20s Friday and Friday night,” said Kevin Brown, a senior forecaster with the Norman Forecast Office. “With new data coming in, we think that this winter-weather event could be a bigger problem with more areas potentially seeing ice accumulation of 1/10th of an inch, with a few locations getting more.”

Brown said the ice accumulation would be on elevated objects such as trees, power lines, cars, and even some bridges late Thursday through Friday night. He added that with many trees still having leaves on them, icing will be more of a problem, which could result in downed limbs.

“This could result in property damage and sporadic power outages,” Brown said. “Some light accumulations of snow and sleet will be possible as well across west-central and northwest Oklahoma.

In the Oklahoma City metro, Brown said Thursday afternoon through Friday night there could be off-and-on “patches of rain.”

“If we see some of the rain after midnight Thursday night, by daybreak Friday,” Brown said, “we could start seeing some areas of freezing rain affecting central Oklahoma and then primarily during the day Friday and into Friday evening.”

Staying safe

Lara O'Leary, Emergency Medical Services Authority spokeswoman, said “slips and falls are a common injury with every winter event.”

“There will literally be hundreds of patients transported to ER's for slips and falls by the time the weather warms in the spring,” she said.

Residents heading to their cars in the morning, going to grab their mail, walking their dogs or stepping onto the porch prompt many 911 calls, O'Leary said.

O'Leary said EMSA advises residents to slowly feel their way to their destination, wear shoes with traction and dress warmly.

“Should they fall they don't want to suffer hypothermia, as well,” she said. “Every winter, we transport someone who has fallen and was knocked unconscious and was found suffering from a broken bone, a head injury and then frostbite or hypothermia.

“It's very important to let someone know you're going outside so they can check on you, should your return be lengthy. Always carry your cellphone when you go outside.”

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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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