The final round of what is turning out to be a record setting stretch of winter weather will occur over the next few days. Another significant snow maker will be moving across the state tonight and ending Wednesday afternoon. That will be followed by more bitterly cold air with potentially below zero temperatures again on Thursday morning.
Here is how the timeline should work out: light snow should be moving in from the west shortly after dark with the snow becoming heavy during the late night hours and into Wednesday morning before tapering off during the afternoon. Clearing skies are then expected for Wednesday night. Since we are so cold at the surface and aloft, freezing rain or sleet is NOT a concern; this will be all snow.
However, the very cold conditions also tend to limit the amount of moisture that is available so this will be a light, fluffy snow similar to the snow at the end of the event last week. Last week's snow storm started out with a snow/liquid ratio of about 9/1 and ended close to 15/1. Of course, there was some sleet mixed in at the beginning of the event last week and that will not happen this time around.
This particular storm will likely have a snow/liquid ratio at or above 15/1 throughout the event which means a light, fluffy snow that will blow around quite a bit. Fortunately, the winds will not be as strong as last week, but northerly winds of 15-25 mph will still cause quite a lot of drifting and hazardous travel conditions. Given the high snow/liquid ratio that is expected, total snowfall amounts could approach 10-12" for some locations and right now the axis of heaviest snowfall should be further south than the event from last week and probably south of Tulsa. The more NE counties which bore the brunt of last weeks storm will see lighter amounts from this one as the track this time around is more from the NW to the SE instead of from the SW to the NE as occurred last week. Bottom line is that most of the state will end up with around 6" or so of snow with the axis of heaviest snowfall probably right across the middle of the state where 10-12" will be possible.
As mentioned, this will likely be followed by more bitter cold with temperatures at or below zero for many locations to start the day on Thursday. We should get above freezing Friday afternoon and much milder conditions are still on tap for the coming weekend into the following week as the unsettled pattern will be changing by then.
As always, stay tuned and check back for updates…..and stay warm.