Stacia Knight: Winter Storm Watch Downgraded To Travel Advisory
TULSA, Oklahoma - The track of this weekend’s winter storm has shifted farther south which has lowered the amount of wintry precipitation expected on Saturday. A travel advisory is in effect for Saturday from Interstate 44 to Interstate 40.
A light wintry mix of sleet and snow will be possible within that corridor as moisture is drawn northward from Texas and mixes in with a colder air mass. Drivers need to still be cautious, especially on bridges and overpasses.
Rain will move into southeastern Oklahoma tonight and north towards I-44 by morning. It looks like locations north of I-44 will be dry.
There is still a question as to how far north moisture will make it. A slight chance of precipitation in Tulsa cannot be ruled out through the day tomorrow. Any precipitation that we do get in Tulsa would be a wintry mix.
Chances of precipitation will remain high across the southern half of the state. The northern fringe of the moisture will be areas that see snow, sleet or freezing rain.
This storm system was modeled to track over the southern fringe of Oklahoma but in the last 12 hours, the system has dropped more south than expected.
The first sign of change with this system was timing. It has started to slow down, which delayed our onset of precipitation for eastern Oklahoma. Now with the southern track, most of the moisture will be confined to southern Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana.
The hardest hit areas will be across Texas. Flooding rain expected in eastern Texas.
We can’t rule out a mix of wintry precipitation from I-44 to I-40. Our accumulation of snow and sleet will now be lower than anticipated several days ago, but we should still have enough for travel concerns along the northern edge.
Winter storm systems are difficult to predict before 24-36 hours out, even when models are in good agreement with a particular outcome. If the timing and track of systems change ever-so-slightly, the impacts can be much larger.