Travelers Take Note Of Christmas Day Oklahoma Snow Storm
TULSA, Oklahoma - If you're still planning to travel for Christmas - especially to the western part of Oklahoma - keep an eye on the weather and get there early.
"If you're going to travel, it's not really a great thing on Christmas Day," said News On 6 Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer.
"By noon on Christmas Day, the western part of the state will have moderate to heavy snow – blowing snow. So if you're not out in western Oklahoma by Christmas morning you're going to be in trouble."
Heavy bands of snow from a system originating in the Pacific northwest will move through central and western Oklahoma to arrive in Green Country midday on Christmas.
"We've had several white Christmases, but we've never really had a lot of snow on Christmas Day," Meyer said. The local record for a Christmas Day snowfall was set in 1975 with 1.3 inches.
Wind gusts of up to 20 or 30 mph could create whiteout conditions from blowing snow. Check road condition updates with the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning in effect from noon to midnight Christmas Day. The warning was issued for several eastern Oklahoma counties including for Creek, Okmulgee, Wagoner, Muskogee, Adair, Cherokee. Southwestern Arkansas counties included in the warning are Sebastian and Washington.
Rain is expected to fall first, mixing with sleet then transitioning to snow that should stop from west to east Christmas evening, the warning states. Two to four inches are expected, according the NWS.
A winter storm watch is in effect for Christmas Day in Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Rogers, Osage and other counties.
The snow will be in Tulsa mid-morning to about noon, according to the latest data. It was start as rain, mixing to sleet and then snow. The system should be moving out by midnight.
With Oklahoma expecting a white Christmas, it's a good time to review your emergency road kit. Car trouble is scary enough any time of year, but with freezing temps - getting stuck can be dangerous.
Here's a checklist from the Oklahoma Department of Health:
- Car and Emergency Checklist:
- Cell phone with portable charger and extra batters
- Battery-powered radio with extra batteries
- Flashlight with extra batteries
- Snack Food
- Extra hats, coats and gloves
- Chains or rope
- Tire chains
- Canned compressed air with sealant for emergency tire repair
- Road salt and sand
- Booster cable
- Emergency flares
- Bright-colored flag or "help" signs
- First aid kit
- Tool kit
- Road maps
- Compass (or cell phone app for compass)
- Waterproof matches and a can to melt snow for water