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Oklahomans brace for wintry storm

From 3 to 6 inches of snow is possible in the Oklahoma City metro as a winter storm targets Oklahoma. Some areas of the state could receive up to 1 inch of ice.
By TIM WILLERT and BRYAN PAINTER Modified: December 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm •  Published: December 4, 2013

In terms of snowfall, “it could come down pretty heavy between overnight Thursday, say around midnight, to 9 or 10 Friday morning in that corridor from Lawton to Oklahoma City up toward Tulsa. We may see 3 to 6 inches of snow in that corridor.”

“As for Saturday, we could see some spotty areas pick up light accumulations of snow late Saturday into the first part of the day Sunday,” Curl said.

Eastern Oklahoma

Amy Jankowski, a meteorologist with the weather service's Tulsa Forecast Office, said most of eastern Oklahoma is under a winter storm warning from 6 a.m. Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday. However, some southeastern counties are under an ice storm warning from noon Thursday to 6 p.m. Friday.

Up to 5 to 7 inches of sleet and snow were possible in a band from near Okemah, up to near the Fayetteville, Ark., area.

South of that band, is where the heavier ice accumulation is likely to occur. Near Hugo in Choctaw County and in the southern parts of Le Flore County, the forecast called for up to an inch of ice.

Oklahoma Panhandle

Jose Garcia, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service, Amarillo, Texas, said snow was expected to begin overnight Wednesday night in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The cold temperatures may be more of a concern, with lows expected in the single digits and wind chills of possibly 0 to minus 10 degrees.

“We think this is going to be some of the coldest air, certainly, of the year and we have not seen temperatures this cold since probably February 2011,” Garcia said Wednesday.

“In addition, I think the difference for this system is going to be the length of the cold air. After we drop below freezing tonight, we're not expecting to get above freezing again until maybe sometime on Tuesday.”

The Oklahoma Panhandle is in a winter weather advisory until 9 a.m. Friday.

Far southeast Oklahoma

Mario Valverde, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service in Shreveport, La., said the worst-case scenario for McCurtain County would be “maybe an inch of ice through this weekend.”

He said the freezing rain may start Thursday afternoon or evening. There may be a break in the precipitation late Friday. However, that break is an uncertainty.

That county is in an ice storm warning from 6 p.m. Thursday through 6 p.m. Friday.

“The hills, because this is going to be a shallow, cold event, they may actually slow down the cold air getting into McCurtain County,” Valverde said. “So places in Arkansas and in Texas, may actually get the freezing rain before McCurtain County does because that air kind of travels around until it builds up and comes over those hills.

“The hills dam the air up until it gets deep enough to come over the tops of those hills. That may give them a couple more hours of rain without the freezing going on, but it will get there.”

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