Bitter Cold Spell Blasts Northeastern Oklahoma

Sunday, January 5th 2014, 9:01 am
By: Dee Duren

Overnight winter weather led to some slick roads in Green Country Sunday. The freezing drizzle that started the event left a thin layer of ice under the snow.

But the main threat is an historic cold spell, which is the most dangerous aspect of this winter storm. It is possible that it will bring with it temperatures we haven't seen in three years.

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Although the snow has stopped, we are just starting with a blast of bitter cold weather that will continue through early Tuesday.

Wind chills are expect to reach from -10 to -20 degrees by Monday, according to WARN Team Chief Meteorologist Travis Meyer.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning from 6 p.m. Sunday through noon Monday for several Oklahoma counties including Cherokee, Creek, Delaware, Haskell, Huges, Latimer, LeFlore, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Ofuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Payne, Pittsburg, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington.

Frostbite and hypothermia are possible if precautions aren't taken. In temperatures this severe, it takes only minutes for frostbite to hit exposed skin. Prepare for the cold by wearing multiple layers of warm clothing and limiting outdoor activities.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety also warns that many roads in much of Northeastern Oklahoma are slick and hazardous.

See Road Conditions Map

Part of northeastern Oklahoma was upgraded to a winter storm warning early Sunday. Counties like Ottawa, Craig and Nowata saw snow totals of over 4 inches. A large part of northeastern Oklahoma from Osage and Pawnee counties to the northwest of Tulsa through Tulsa and extending southeast through Wagoner, Cherokee and Sequoyah counties were under a winter weather advisory on Sunday.

"Little or no melting of the ice is expected until some sunshine returns on Monday, but even then highs are expected to be only in the teens so melting will be extremely limited," Meyer said. "By Tuesday, highs will return to 40 with much improved road conditions."

Several northeastern Oklahoma school districts have closed for Monday morning, citing both rural road conditions and the bitter cold for students who wait at bus stops without proper winter clothing.

See School Closings

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