Archive for January, 2008

Snowstorm Ending
January 31, 2008

The snow is winding down and will be out of the OKC metro area by 3:30 pm. The wind will stay gusty through the rest of the afternoon, so some blowing snow may continue even after the snow stops falling.

Temperatures will hold steady in the low 20s with wind chills in the single digits.

My new forecast still calls for sunshine tomorrow, and dry weather through the weekend. Highs will be in the 40s and 50s.

Rick

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8:30am Update
January 31, 2008

Everything is going as planned. Temperatures are dropping in the metro as the colder air moves in. We’ve got snow coating the cars and grass, but melting on the roads. That will change as we go throughout the day. Roads are bad or are getting bad across the northern half of the state. A pretty good dose of snow will hit I-35 north of Guthrie later on this morning.

The snow can be bad enough by itself, but the wind is creating blowing snow, drifting snow and some very nasty wind chills.

Andy

Winter Storm Warning
January 31, 2008

There’s a lot to look at on the weather maps this morning. Cold air is starting to pour back into the state. Temperatures in the panhandle and northwest are in the 10s, with strong north winds. The rest of the state has temperatures in the 30s to around 40. At the same time, a fast moving upper storm system is moving into the Texas panhandle. When you combine the two, you’re gonna get a rough day.

A Winter Storm Warning will be in effect for roughly the northern half of the state today. The warning is roughly north of I-40, but doesn’t include Canadian, Oklahoma or Lincoln counties. South of the warning, a Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory will be in effect.

Here’s how it looks for the state today:

For Northern Oklahoma, expect wind and snow. The snow will pile up to the tune of 4-8″. As you get close to the Kansas Border along and east of I-35, there could be more. The significant snow will be just part of the problem. Winds out of the northwest at 20 to 30 mph will create near white-out conditions and snowdrifts that could be 2-3 feet deep.

For southwestern and central Oklahoma, rain will change to snow. At this time, it doesn’t appear that there will be as much snow, but whatever falls will certainly blow around. Snow totals should be in the 1-3″ category. Even though the amounts won’t be as high, blowing snow will still be a problem.

Southcentral and southeastern Oklahoma will mainly see rain. It will still be windy and a Wind Advisory is in effect.

If you are planning to travel across northern Oklahoma today, you need to be careful. You need to give yourself extra time. You need to be prepared for slick roads and white-out conditions. If you have a cell phone, make sure it’s charged and ready to go. Have a blanket and some food in the car just in case.

I haven’t even touched on the wind chills. Wind chills today will range from near (or below) zero in the northwest, 10s/20s central and 20s/30s southeast.

The good news is that this storm will move so fast that it should be out of here by tonight and tomorrow we’ll see mostly sunny skies. And more wind.

We’ll have updates throughout the day on Eyewitness News 5…

Andy

Update On The Coming Storm
January 31, 2008

Looking at some of the new evening computer data leads me to believe this will end up being a pretty healthy snowstorm for the northern half of the state. It still looks like the heaviest snowfall will be across the northern quarter of the state where 5 or more inches of snow will fall. I would not be surprised to see someone with more than 8 inches in Grant or Kay counties.

The wind will blow the snow around quite a bit tomorrow so travel will be difficult especially in the north.

The accumulating snow will extend south into the OKC metro area with a good 1-3 inches likley by late afternoon. Lesser amounts are expected farther south.

The snow will be out of central Oklahoma by late afternoon, and out of the state by 10 pm.

Rusty and Andy will be covering the storm very early tomorrow so make sure you tune in to Eyewitness News 5 starting at 5 am for all the latest on school closings and road conditions.

Rick

Snow & Blowing Snow Advisory
January 30, 2008

The National Weather Service has gone ahead and posted a Snow and Blowing Snow Advisory that will cover roughly the northwestern half of the state. This advisory will start in the far northwest late tonight, but for most of us will go from 6am-6pm Thursday. In northeastern Oklahoma, a Winter Storm Warning has been issued to go through late Thursday.

There are really two issues here. First will be the snow. We’ve been looking over the latest computer model forecasts. The disturbing trend is that they come in wetter. In response, we’re bringing our snowfall forecasts up. Northcentral and northeastern Oklahoma should see the highest amounts. This is where over 4 inches will fall. As you head into far northeastern Oklahoma, 8 inches could fall. Central Oklahoma, including OKC will run in the 1-3 inch range. A good rule of thumb–the further northeast you go, the higher the amounts. Southern Oklahoma could see a little snow, but not much.

What will make the situation worse will be our other issue–the wind. Winds will be northwest at 20 to 30 mph with higher gusts. The sum of the wind plus the snow will be blowing snow and snow drifts. The blowing snow will create near whiteout conditions. The drifts in northern Oklahoma will be 2-3 feet deep.

There will be travel problems along and north of I-40 Thursday. If you must travel into northern Oklahoma (and into Kansas, Missouri, etc.), be prepared and give yourself plenty of extra time.

Rick Mitchell will have the latest forecast tonight at 5, 6, and 10 on Eyewitness News 5.

Andy

Cold Front Blasts Through
January 29, 2008

Winds have gusted well over 50 mph today across much of the state as a cold front moved through. In a few cases, gusts have gone over 60 mph, kicking up dust, tree branches, small pets, and anything else that was not tied down. Thankfully the wind will die down this evening.

Tomorrow will be dry with sunshine, but guess what? The wind will come back. Not as strong as today, but high enough to keep the fire danger in the very high category. High temperatures tomorrow will be in the 40s and 50s.

The next storm system moves into the southern Plains Thursday with rain changing to snow. The models are in agreement that this storm will be a fast mover. They still differ on the exact details.

I’m thinking that there will be 6-8 hours of snow in the state Thursday producing a few inches especially north of I-40 and east of I-35, so roughly the northeast quarter of the state. Amounts elsewhere will be lighter. OKC metro amounts will be in the 1-2 inch category.

The storm is gone by Thursday night, with Friday being dry with highs in the 30s and 40s depending on snow cover.

Our weekend will be dry with highs mostly in the 50s. Another storm will move into our area for next Monday.

Rick

Hang On!
January 29, 2008

So far, we’ve seen 62 mph winds here at Eyewitness News 5. Quail Springs Mall has seen a 59 mph gust. Expect strong winds to spread across the state this morning as a cold front continues to push south. The fire danger is extremely high and most of central and western Oklahoma is under a Red Flag Warning. The winds will slowly decrease this afternoon.

One other quick note…this same front is producing some light snow across northcentral Oklahoma. There won’t be any significant accumulations, but the snow will likely blow sideways.

Andy

Wind, Wind, Go Away!
January 28, 2008

My goodness it’s windy out there today. It’s even windier in the panhandle. As of 2 pm, Guymon had a wind gust of 67 mph!

The bad news is the wind is going to continue. More bad news is that a strong cold front will race across the state tomorrow with rapidly falling temperatures. And for some of you, Thursday looks like a bad news day with rain, snow, and yes, wind.

Tonight will remain quite windy ahead of a cold front. The front will enter northwest Oklahoma before sunrise tomorrow, be into central Oklahoma by mid- morning, and almost through the southeast by lunchtime. Temperatures will fall into the 30s and 40s behind the front with strong northwest winds. Bottom line, tomorrow will be colder and still pretty windy, although winds will begin to decrease in the afternoon.

Wednesday will be dry with highs in the 50s. Winds will increase out of the south in advance of the next system coming our way.

Thursday is when the next storm will cross Oklahoma. The computer models are in more agreement with this system today than they were yesterday. It’ll be a fast mover that will produce some rain early then changing over to snow. There are still some timing issues between the models, but I am becoming more impressed with this system. The best chance of accumulating snow will be in the north, but it would not surprise me to see some in the metro as well. In addition to rain and snow, there will be a blast of wind as well, but probably not as windy as today.

Stay tuned for updates.

Rick

What do YOU want to know?
January 28, 2008

When you click over to the friendly weather blog here at KOCO, you never know just what you might find. I suppose that’s the intrigue of a blog…..written by meteorologists…..on t.v.

But I’m assuming there might be a few weather questions our loyal blog followers may want to have have answered. What is dewpoint? Does Rick Mitchell use hairspray? So, I figured we’d give you the opportunity to ask us anything you want.

Just add your question to the comments section of this blog entry and we’ll start answering them. Remember, you have to be logged in to be able to post a comment.

Rusty

Nice Enough To Mow
January 27, 2008

Despite the gusty winds today, it’s pretty nice out there. So nice in fact that I spent part of my afternoon working in the yard mowing and raking. Kind of a mid-winter lawn clean up. I did not mind, it just felt good to be outside not freezing.

Tomorrow will be another windy and mild day with an extremely high fire danger. Winds will gust over 40 mph and temps will climb into the 60s and 70s. A dryline will cross the state, but the chance of any showers or storms developing is very low. I’m going with a dry forecast for tomorrow.

We’ll cool back down to near January normals for highs and lows after tomorrow. Tuesday and Wednesday will be dry with highs in the low 50s.

A fast moving system that has not been handled well by the computer models will affect us Thursday with some rain or snow…or both. Until the models get a better handle on this system and show some consistency, I’m going to keep what Steve and Andy have been forecasting for Thursday.

Rick