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Possible White Christmas.

Posted: Updated:

Dreaming of a White Christmas, maybe. Newer and hopefully more reliable data has been streaming in during the day today, but there are still lots of questions regarding the winter storm that will be impacting much of the state for Christmas. One set of model solutions has NE OK basically dry and another has as much as 6-10" of snow falling over much of green country. The problem continues to be the placement and intensity of the surface and upper level storm system as it tracks south of the Red River tomorrow. A change in position of only one or two degrees of latitude can make a huge difference in the location of where the heaviest snow bands set up and for how long. Obviously, we would like to see more consistency from one model run to the next as well as between models, but so far that has not been the case.

Another consideration is the relatively warm soil temperatures which will initially melt the snow until it falls fast enough to start accumulating anyway. In addition to that, the precipitation will likely start off as a mixed bag with sleet and freezing rain changing over to or mixed with snow for a time during the morning hours before changing over to all snow by late morning or early afternoon. Point is there will likely be a very big difference between how much snow falls and how much actually accumulates due to those factors.

Keep in mind that elevated surfaces will be the first to be impacted as air temperatures will be below freezing pretty much all day and the bridges and overpasses will quickly become slick and hazardous. .

One thing there is little doubt of is that it will be bitterly cold for Christmas Day and several days after that. Northerly winds up to 30 mph together with the sub-freezing temperatures will result in wind chill values in the teens and perhaps even the single digits for some locations. Lighter winds on Wednesday and Thursday together with at least some snow on the ground will also result in the coldest morning lows we have had all season. At least the storm will be moving out quickly so any lingering flurries early Wed morning for the extreme eastern counties will quickly be replaced by lots of afternoon sunshine, but still very cold. In fact, daytime highs are not expected to get above freezing until Thursday afternoon.

Another rapidly moving system will cross the state on Friday, but looks to be moisture starved and probably will do much more than produce a few flurries if even that.

Temperatures should begin to finally moderate in time for New Years Eve.

So, stay tuned and check back for updates.

Dick Faurot

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