First Snow of the Season


Saturday, November 23rd 2013, 7:45 pm
By: News On 6


Are you ready for some snow? It may be a bit early in the season, but Old Man Winter is clearly paying us a visit. In the wake of the Arctic front, temperatures are running nearly 20° below normal. We had a little freezing rain, but it didn't cause many issues on our side of the state Friday. A second wave of precipitation is coming with a colder column of air and it's looking like whatever falls from the sky Sunday will be snow.

The main upper-level low is kicking out of the Desert Southwest. The mid and upper-level moisture associated with it will override very dry air here at the surface brought by a large high pressure in the Midwest. This means as the low pressure system kicks out towards Oklahoma, that moisture, in the form of frozen precipitation for us, will have to overcome the dry air at the surface to reach the ground. So there's our weather set-up.

So, as we head into Sunday, count on bone-chilling temperatures in the morning with wind chill values in the teens. Those poor runners in the Route 66 Marathon are going to have to brave these unusually cold readings, but shouldn't have to worry about snow in the morning. By afternoon, an area of snow is expected to move in from western Oklahoma. With less dry air and more forcing, snow may be heavy at times and lead to hazardous travel west of OKC. Once the snow gets east of I-35, the intensity and coverage should taper off. Nonetheless, by mid-afternoon, I expect to see snowflakes flying across Green Country. Temperatures will remain near freezing so minor accumulations of an inch or less are possible on grassy surfaces. Roads should remain wet during the day, but use extra caution on bridges and overpasses, especially after dark as temperatures continue to fall.

After that initial round of snow, we'll be left with not much more than drizzle. It could be freezing drizzle or light sleet to start the day Monday, but I don't anticipate widespread slick roads that morning. That could always change though! Temperatures warm up to cause any remaining moisture to amount to light rain before the system sweeps past Oklahoma that night.

Believe it or not, Texas is going to see worse winter weather than us up north. The main energy from this system will travel to our south, giving them a major ice storm and some hefty snow totals in the Texas Panhandle. All in all, the Tulsa area will get a nice *taste* of the upcoming season, but not much more than that. I've attached expected snow totals for the state.

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Following Monday, the weather should be high and dry. It will remain chilly through the holiday with below-normal readings expected. Unless you're traveling to either of the coasts for the holiday, though, you won't be snarled by the weather. (See final map).

Enjoy what snow does fall and remember to follow me on Twitter: @GroganontheGO and on my Facebook page for the latest on our first real winter event!