National Weather Service: Green Country May Get White Christmas

Wednesday, December 19th 2012, 10:06 pm
By: News On 6

Forecasters are keeping a close eye on a storm system that just recently left Korea.

The system is headed our way and could be here on Christmas.

It's important to note that we're still a week away from being touched by this storm, but we know plans are being made on whether to travel for Christmas.

We talked with the National Weather Service Wednesday about what they're looking for and when they'll know how it could impact Oklahoma.

A windswept storm dropped more than 5 inches of snow on Tulsa on Christmas Eve 2009.

12/24/2009 Related Story: Record Snowfall Reported As Blizzard Hits Oklahoma

Here we are less than a week from Christmas, and it's felt more like fall than winter, but meteorologists at the National Weather Service are watching their computer models and say winter weather is definitely coming. It's just too early to nail down the specifics.

"We've seen the computer models swing wildly over that last couple of days. We've seen as much as 20 inches of snow forecast for Tulsa, we've seen zero inches of snow forecast for Tulsa, and it's swinging, almost from model run to model run, at this point," said Steve Piltz.

Piltz is the meteorologist in charge.

He said that storm left Korea a few days ago.

It's now in the North Pacific and heading to North America.

"It skirts Alaska, dives hard towards California, gets in the southern Rockies and then lifts up into Oklahoma," Piltz said. "That's a giant roller coaster kind of a path, so you can see where any change at all would dramatically change where this storm ends up."

11/5/2012 Related Story: City Of Tulsa Street Department Prepared For The Worst This Winter

The city of Tulsa said it's prepared for snow, with 62 salt and sand spreaders, 45 snow plows, and 14,500 tons of salt.

But forecasters are quick to remind us that Mother Nature can be fickle and any firm answers for what to expect on Christmas won't come until the weekend.

"Really, we're at the very edge of where, scientifically, we can make a lot of judgments about this system. But if you have travel plans, there's a potential for some moisture so you just have to watch it," Piltz said.

Piltz said the National Weather Service gets new data every six hours.

They plan to update city and state leaders on Friday.