Winter Event Tonight And Thursday Morning

Wednesday, January 19th 2011, 6:40 am
By: News On 6

Winter weather advisory will be in effect for most of northern OK starting tonight at 6pm and lasting through 6pm Thursday.  A winter weather advisory means sleet and snow may cause travel issues across the defined area. Totals from 1 to 4 inches will be possible across northern OK with higher totals along the Oklahoma-Kansas state line.  A winter storm warning has been posted for extreme Eastern OK into NW Arkansas for the same time period.  Snow totals in this area may approach 6 inches. 

While the bulk of the precipitation is expected to occur Thursday, some rain changing to sleet is likely this evening before quickly transitioning to all snow during the event.  The timing for areas north of Tulsa may occur around 8pm with precipitation approaching Tulsa by 10pm tonight. 

Buf kit profiles from yesterdays GFS indicate the possibility of 2 inches of snow in Tulsa with higher amounts possible across extreme northern OK and southern Kansas.  Yesterdays NAM profiles indicate slightly over 1 inch possible in Tulsa with amounts from 2 to3 inches possible across extreme Northern OK.  This mornings profiles are indicating some higher totals are possible, but we'll need at least one more run before making any adjustments to the forecast. The current forecast snowfall for our area will be from 1 to 4 inches with the higher amounts north of highways 412.  Washington, Nowata, Craig, and Ottawa counties may see 3 to 5 inches of snow.

We'll start the day with partly cloudy sky but increasing clouds will be the call as the next upper level system approaches from the west.  A low pressure area at the surface will form in Eastern Colorado and drop southeast quickly today.  Southeast winds will increase from 10 to 20 mph this afternoon with mostly cloudy conditions and highs in the mid 40s. 

Tonight the surface area of low pressure will dive southward before moving eastward across the Red River Valley.  This track of the surface low combined with the upper level system to the west will be favorable for bringing accumulating snowfall to the areas along and north of I-40 and more so along the I-44 corridor.  This pattern is indicative of producing moderate to heavy snowfall, but model data indicates our moisture will remain somewhat limited.  If moisture profiles end up being under sampled, the accumulations could be higher in a small band across northeastern OK. 

The cold air will continue to last Thursday through Saturday morning before moderating some Saturday afternoon into Sunday.  But another storm system will be approaching Sunday into Monday with another chance of rain or snow showers across the northern and eastern part of the state.