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Icy Winds Blow Into Green Country

Icy Winds Blow Into Green Country

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Another powerful Arctic cold front has rushed into Oklahoma following another unseasonably warm spell.

That warmth will now only act to make the frigid winds feel even harsher in contrast.  We're talking a 50-degree drop in temperatures from Sunday's highs to Monday morning's lows. How's that for an entrance into December?


Along with wind chills in the teens for much of Monday morning, we also have a limited risk for icing. Just enough overriding moisture from that front will cause very light precipitation to break out after midnight in areas mainly east of Tulsa.

The moisture in the atmosphere is very limited and so is the forcing for heavier precipitation. However, temperatures are certain to drop below freezing in all areas of our viewing area with the exception of far southeastern Oklahoma (i.e. Leflore, Latimer counties).


Although this is a minor winter weather event, it still may have impacts on the morning commutes.  The attached map shows the area most likely to see a light glaze of ice. Although amounts will likely remain well below .1 inch in our state, don't be fooled. ANY moisture found on an elevated surface like a bridge or overpass could make for a very slick surface.

Fortunately, ground temperatures are in the upper 40s to lower 50s so most road surfaces, especially if treated, won't be in bad shape.  Amounts will also be light enough that trees and power lines shouldn't face any real strain due to added weight.


For Tulsa, it's a close call. Dry air from the north will essentially keep any precipitation from reaching the ground in areas to the west. It's a very shallow layer of sub-freezing, saturated conditions so whatever does form will likely be liquid drizzle that freezes on contact or very light sleet.  The cut-off for that seems to be right along the Interstate 44 corridor with areas to the east more likely to encounter icy spots. My advice for Tulsans is to consider any moisture on roadways to be slick for your morning commute and to leave extra time for that drive. However, it's likely that most of the metro area will awake to dry, cold and cloudy conditions with few travel issues overall.

As of Sunday evening, Tulsa is not under a Winter Weather Advisory.  There is one posted for Cherokee and Adair counties from midnight to 4pm, however.  That seems to be the most likely spot for hazardous driving conditions.


Moisture will gradually diminish throughout the day Monday with even some clearing skies from Tulsa westward.  Unlike our cold spell in mid-November, this will be a short-lived taste of Arctic air. South winds rush back on Tuesday, bringing our temperatures close to seasonable levels by midweek.  After that, it's not a wintry set-up we face, but a damp and dreary one with continued chances of showers for the second half of our week.

There will more on that potential wet weather later.  For now, break out the coats and be a careful driver on Monday.  Hopefully we avoid the slick roadways as many of us return to work and school following the holiday weekend.

For the latest on the wintry weather, be sure to follow Mike on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page!


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