Oklahoma weather: State experts discuss winter patterns, road safety

Reporter Bryan Painter hosted a Google+ hangout Wednesday to talk about winter weather conditions in Oklahoma. Watch a replay of the video below.

by Bryan Painter Modified: October 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm •  Published: October 24, 2012

Reporter Bryan Painter hosted a Google+ hangout Wednesday with Gary McManus, associate state climatologist with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey and Oklahoma Mesonet, and Terru Angier, ODOT's chief of media and public relations, to talk about winter weather conditions in Oklahoma.

Below is an unedited transcript of the chat. Watch a replay of the hangout above and check out archived discussions and hangouts.

Brenda 12:44 p.m. Are we in or a bad winter?
Guest 12:50 p.m. Is Bryan Painter a meterologist?
NewsOK 12:51 p.m. RE Guest: No, he's our weather reporter. He works with many meteorologists and studies weather patterns for stories.
KC5FM 12:58 p.m. When is Winter Awareness Week in Oklahoma?
Stephanie 12:59 p.m. Do you think we will have significant school/business closings this winter?
Guest 12:59 p.m. what are your predictions for our winter here in okc this year?
KC5FM 1:00 p.m. Will the Winter Weather help end the Drought?
KC5FM 1:04 p.m. Just saw this Tweet! RT @HumanityRoad: Car or truck kit - Sand, Ropes, blanket http://bit.ly/PQOeG4 #winter remember #snOMG
Guest 1:07 p.m. Will El Nino have an effect on us? If so, what? (Read into the crystal ball! ha!)
TLO22 1:15 p.m. Are we expecting a bad winter as far snow?
Steve 1:23 p.m. Instead of telling us to prepare for the worst, how about some information concerning weaher patterns, ocean temps, jet stream, etc. as it may apply to our coming winter.
TLO22 1:24 p.m. I agree, Steve!
KC5FM 1:26 p.m. If one prepares for all-hazards, one will be prepared for winter weather. http://www.ready.gov
Steve 1:31 p.m. Looking for climate prediction information, not a couple of extremes... We undersand there is no way to predict those. Are we going to be cold and wet, or warm and dry? Why?
TLO22 1:34 p.m. What is the reasoning behind this live winter weather discussion?
NewsOK 1:35 p.m. Hey TLO22, we wanted to have the hangout to talk about weather we might see in the upcoming months and also raise awareness about road safety. We also wanted to give readers a chance to interact with us and ask questions.
NewsOK 1:36 p.m. Unfortunately, we don't always get to address all of the questions, but we try to provide as much information as we can in a short period of time. If you have more questions, you can reach out to Bryan Painter at bpainter@opubco.com or Gary McManus.
Marco 1:37 p.m. This is my first winter in Oklahoma. What can I expect?
TLO22 1:39 p.m. My class at Moore High School is watching this. Can you tell them HI??
Stephanie 1:40 p.m. when the Highway Patrol is interviewed about the winter weather and winter road conditions and pound it into our heads that if you are the only one involved in an accident, preach to you to NOT call them, that just to get yourself to the ER and get checked out. I got a ticket for reckless driving for the conditions and leaving the scene of an accident. I was just doing what they always tell us to do. But, I protested the charges and got it thrown out and all I had to pay was the court costs
Steve 1:41 p.m. I bet Moore High would like to know some information about our coming winter weather..
TLO22 1:42 p.m. They are screaming YES!!!!!! lol
NewsOK 1:43 p.m. Gary McManus is actually going to join us soon on the chat to answer more questions.
Steve 1:44 p.m. Go Lions!
Gary McManus 1:44 p.m. Howdy. Figured I would try and answer some of these questions.
TLO22 1:45 p.m. My class says, Thanks Steve!!! We are hoping for a blizzard which means NO SCHOOL!!!
Jim 1:45 p.m. Marco is spending his first winter in OK. Want's to know what to expect. Marco, expect heavy ice at least once.
Gary McManus 1:46 p.m. Well, as far as the predictions for this winter, I'm afraid there are not any large-scale climate factors providing us many clues this far out. That's why I was warning about the extremes, because that's one thing that always seems to crop up.
Gary McManus 1:47 p.m. An El Nino episode appeared likely as little as a month ago, which would have meant increased odds of cooler and wetter winter weather, on average, but that has fizzled. Now we're back to a bit more of a guessing game as we look a couple of months out.
Steve 1:48 p.m. I was wondering because the Weather Channel is saying that pacific ocean temps are very high around Hawaii and that will cause the south central states to be warm and dry..
Gary McManus 1:49 p.m. Too difficult to predict large snowstorms from this far out, but from what we've seen over the last several years, those school-emptying events seem to be coming at a fairly regular pace (last year excluded, of course).
Gary McManus 1:50 p.m. Steve, I'm not aware of those comments, but that goes a bit against what I'm seeing and hearing across the climate prediction community.
NewsOK 1:50 p.m. OK, we're going to have to wrap this up soon. Any other questions for Gary?
Steve 1:51 p.m. Thanks
Gary McManus 1:51 p.m. You can go to this url to see the latest winter prediction for the U.S.
Steve 1:51 p.m. Great, thanks.
Gary McManus 1:52 p.m. That shows the dreaded "EC" for "Equal Chances" for most of the Oklahoma region, which means equal odds for above-, below- or near-normal precipitation for the Dec-Feb time frame. In other words, due to the lack of climate factors, they punted!
Gary McManus 1:53 p.m. Maybe a bit warmer for winter, but there could still be huge snows or ice even during a warm, dry winter. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/long_range/lead01/off01_temp.gif
Steve 1:53 p.m. Wonder why there's a lack of f climate factors..
Gary McManus 1:55 p.m. Mainly because the El Nino faded. That would have tipped the odds to cooler and wetter for the southern U.S. and Oklahoma. Now that we appear to be headed to neutral conditions in the equatorial pacific, we fall back on normal variability (i.e., no odd-tipping). The other factors at play, like the Arctic Oscillation, are not really able to be forecast farther out than about 2 weeks.
NewsOK 1:56 p.m. OK, I'm afraid that's all the time we have for today. Thanks for joining us everyone!
NewsOK 1:56 p.m. And a special thank you to Gary for sticking around to chat with us!
Gary McManus 1:56 p.m. Even then, an El Nino or La Nina merely tips the odds, and they don't always pan out. Unfortunately, that's the state of seasonal climate prediction at this time.
Steve 1:57 p.m. Thanks for the info.
NewsOK 1:58 p.m. We hope to see you all Friday for our weekly Football Hangout to discuss upcoming OU and OSU games. Thanks again!
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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