By Gary McManus, state climatologist:
Some parts of the state have seen since the infamous deep freeze of February 10, 2011. Let’s take a look at some of the maps from this morning to see just how cold it got (and felt!).
The lowest actual air temperature recorded by the Mesonet was -12 degrees, fittingly in Nowata, since that’s the lowest temperature recorded by the Mesonet since February 10, 2011, as mentioned previously (on that day, Nowata broke the all-time record low temperature for the state with -31 degrees). We probably saw a few low temperature records fall this morning across the state as well.
That -12 reading at Nowata tied for the 7th lowest temperature ever recorded on January 6 for the state, with records going back to the 1880s. From the top-10 list, looks like 1912 and 1971 both had pretty miserable January 6s. Here’s the Top-10 list for lowest temperatures ever recorded in Oklahoma on January 6.
Rank Low T Location Year
1 -16 ARNETT 3NE 1912
1 -16 HOOKER 1971
3 -15 BOISE CITY 2 E 1912
4 -14 BEAVER 1971
5 -13 GOODWELL RSCH STN 1912
5 -13 HOOKER 1912
7 -12 NOWATA MESONET 2013
7 -12 BEAVER 1912
7 -12 KENTON 1912
10 -11 KENTON 1971
10 -11 WOODWARD 1912
Now we look forward to this afternoon and wonder if many record low maximum temperature records will fall as well. Here’s the forecast highs from the NWS along with the record low highs for the day as well. Most records look safe, except for maybe up in the far northeast where lots of snow remains on the ground.
Here are those snow total estimates, at least from the Tulsa and Norman NWS offices. I think the Panhandle received an inch or two at most.
To heck with the actual air temperatures. If you have to go out in it, the wind chills (apparent temperature) are no cakewalk either. The lowest wind chill calculated by the Mesonet this morning was -25 degrees up at Alva, but we had readings below zero across virtually the entire state (some are not showing up across eastern Oklahoma due to frozen wind sensors). Here are the lowest wind chills this morning and what they are now.
To continue with the unwanted benchmarks, that -25 degrees up in Alva is the lowest wind chill calculated by the Mesonet since … yep, you guessed it, February 10, 2011. Here’s the lowest wind chill map from that day for comparison. Nowhere close to the -47 degrees at Medford that day, thank goodness.
OK, now let’s give you some hope. We are at least forecast to get back into respectable territory with some 50s by Friday according to the NWS. That warmth is forecast to last through the weekend as well.
We’ll see how long it lasts. Hopefully until May.