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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

With snow storms approaching, Craig Wetz, of Oklahoma City, was not only looking out for himself, but for his husky, Jaco.

Wetz piled water, soda pop and a 40-pound bag of dog food into his van outside the Walmart Neighborhood Market at the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and Britton Road in The Village.

A musician, Wetz wondered if he would be able to make a Saturday night gig in Shawnee: “The snow's no problem. It's the ice that gets you in trouble.”

He was among those who crowded markets and hardware stores Wednesday in anticipation of storms expected to hit the state beginning Thursday.

People were loading carts with essentials like milk, water and toilet paper and hardware items to help with snow and ice.

Prep football playoffs were postponed for a week statewide. In Stillwater, Oklahoma State University officials, fearing for the safety of students, broke up a “pregame campout” of people trying to be first in line for good seats at Saturday's football game against the University of Oklahoma.

The first wave of wintry weather will start after sunrise Thursday and continue through midday, said Ryan Barnes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Norman.

Ice was possible on bridges and overpasses in the Oklahoma City metro area, but the highest chances of freezing rain will be in southeastern Oklahoma.

Conditions were expected to deteriorate with the most significant impacts expected from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. Friday.

There is a 30 to 40 percent chance of some additional snowfall Saturday. That would be in the afternoon and evening hours, even through Sunday morning, Barnes said.

Toni Hunter, of The Village, was getting ready Wednesday for some icy driving conditions.

“My truck slides around if there's no weight in the back,” she said after leaving a hardware store with four 60-pound bags of sand to put in the back of her pickup.

Mike Bogel, manager of Westlake Ace Hardware, said heaters, weather stripping and ice melt for sidewalks were going fast.

OKC metro area

Scott Curl, a senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Norman, said the first wave of precipitation Thursday may bring light snow to the northwest and significant freezing rain farther south and southeast.

He said that in the Oklahoma City metro, there could be patches of ice. After a brief lull, a second round of wintry weather is expected to begin late Thursday night.

Curl said forecasters expect that to begin in the southwest and spread northeast. Heavier precipitation amounts are expected with that wave.

The precipitation should decrease from west to east Friday morning, with some accumulations possibly in the early daylight hours, he said.

Curl thinks the higher accumulations of ice will range from Wichita Falls, Texas, toward the Arbuckle Mountains and then in the Ardmore, Sulphur, Ada and Atoka areas, with possibly ¼ to ¾ of an inch of ice, mainly Thursday afternoon into Thursday night.

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