Archive for January, 2010

The Month In Review
January 31, 2010

The first month of the new decade will be one that will be remembered for some dangerous cold and lots of rain. The cold came in waves with well below normal temperatures during the first half of the month, above normal temperatures the second half and then the last few days, a return to cold and wet. However, we finally made ti through a January without much talk of fires..the reason..check out just how much precipitation we received…not bad…

-Damon

Looking From The Other Side
January 29, 2010

I’m sitting here at the airport in Dallas, trying to get back to Oklahoma. As a meteorologist, we’re taught to predict the weather, but never taught to avoid it. Such was the case as I tried to make it back home from a week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. As we started to cross into Oklahoma, I looked outside the window to see nothing but a sea of clouds that stretched for as far as the eye can see. So, while many of you are staring out the window looking at ice, snow and brown grass…this is what it looked like above Oklahoma City..literally. Enjoy…

-Damon

PS- Still no word when I’ll make it home.. all Oklahoma Airports are having a hard time landing planes

Live Blog = Live Wire
January 27, 2010

There’s been some confusion.  When we reference our live blog, it is now called Live Wire.  Sorry for the confusion.

Rick

Don’t Forget…1 PM Today
January 27, 2010

We’ll fire up the live blog for the length of the storm.  In case you missed it last night, during parts of the live blog, you’ll actually be able to see me working in the weather center, and you’ll hear me answer your questions that you type in on the live blog.  It’s a good way to get your questions answered, and I don’t have to spend so much time typing 🙂

I just looked at the first computer model of the morning.  I did not see anything unexpected, although I continue to wonder about how much snow the metro area will see.  I have this suspicion that much of the precip will fall as freezing rain or sleet, and that snow totals will be on the low side. 

On the other end of the argument is the fact that there will be a ton of moisture with the storm, and if we manage to change from ice to snow fairly early, snow amounts could be significant.

Either way, whether it’s a bunch of ice and sleet with light snow….or a little ice and sleet with a lot of snow, the storm impact will still be significant.  That’s why you need to take advantage of today’s nice weather to get your groceries, batteries, gas up the car, make sure you have your ice scraper, and anything else you can think of to get ready for this storm.

Here are the “high points” of my OKC forecast:

The rain starts early Thursday and gets heavier through the day.  Temps will be above freezing for the morning drive, but fall below freezing by lunchtime.  Freezing rain will be common Thursday afternoon and evening, followed by a changeover to snow late Thursday evening.  Snow will fall overnight Thursday night into Friday morning, ending Friday afternoon.  Ice accumulations will be around a quarter inch, and snow accumulations will be around 4 inches….give or take a bit.

Don’t forget about the live blog with sound and live pictures starting at 1:00 pm.

Rick

Updated Thursday Timeline
January 27, 2010

We tried to answer some of your questions during the newscast.  This storm will have a big impact on the entire state of Oklahoma.  Expect power outages and rough or even impossible travel conditions.  Ice accumulations my be up to an inch in some spots.  Snow totals may exceed 10 inches in parts of northern Oklahoma.

Here is a look at the breakdown for the state. This is subject to change.

Sarah

Thursday Timeline
January 26, 2010

Here is a look at the general time line we are looking at. Possible ice accumulations may be up to an inch in some areas but most areas will see less than 1/2.  Snow accumulations may be upwards of 8″ in some areas with 4″-6″ possible in the metro. These estimates will change as the newer computer model runs come in.

Sarah

Tuesday Update…A Slower Storm…Still Potent
January 26, 2010

The models continue the trend of slowing down the storm a bit this morning.  What has remained consistent is the high amount of moisture, the threat of significant icing, and the likely changeover to snow.

Based on what I’ve seen from the overnight models, and the first bits of this morning’s model runs, it looks like the rain really starts in earnest on Thursday instead of Wednesday night.  The cold air still plunges through Oklahoma during the day Thursday with rain changing to freezing rain and continuing into Thursday night.  The changeover to snow may be delayed until late Thursday night, then ending late Friday morning.

My concern is that a lot of this moisture will fall as freezing rain in central and southern Oklahoma.  The cold air that will move in on Thursday is currently residing just to our north over the central Plains.  Fresh snow cover (Des Moines picked up 6″ yesterday) is in place over Iowa and parts of the Midwest and that will insure that our temperatures fall quickly below freezing on Thursday. 

The moisture will move in from the south, overriding the colder air moving in from the north.  These are classic conditions for significant icing.  Even though the air at ground level will be below freezing, the mid levels of the atmosphere will remain relatively warm, so freezing rain and sleet will be common much of Thursday.

The changeover to snow will happen with the mid levels cool down Thursday night.  Our most likely time for accumulating snow will be Thursday night to noon Friday.  The more moisture that falls as freezing rain and sleet, the less there will be for snow.

So what does all of this mean for Oklahoma?  I believe the best chance for significant icing of more than a quarter inch will be in central and southern Oklahoma.  With increasing winds, power outages are likely in these areas.  Snow amounts in central Oklahoma Thursday night and Friday morning are likely to be  around 4 inches on average, but as much as a foot in some locations.  Again, it just depends on how quickly we change from sleet and ice over to snow.

Use today and tomorrow to prepare for the storm.  Make sure you’re stocked up on groceries, ice salt, medications, etc.  Take time to gas up the car and make sure the ice scraper is handy.

By the way, we’ll have the live blog up and running today from 1-2 pm.  If you have any questions for me I’d be happy to try to answer them.  See you at 1.

Rick

Winter Weather Possible Thursday
January 25, 2010

Thursday looks like a big day for travel woes.  The National Weather Service has already issued a Winter Storm Watch for Central and Western Oklahoma.

What does that mean?  Well it means one thing for sure, get ready for a nasty Thursday.  Right now it looks to start off as rain, then transition to freezing rain and then transition over to snow late Thursday into Friday.  Expect accumulations of both ice and snow.  At this point it is hard to say how much, but no matter how much we get, it will still be a very tough travel day.  Get ready for a cold and windy Thursday as well.

On a lighter note, the next few days look very nice and dry.  I am going to go buy some batteries today, just in case my power goes out, I will need the flashlights.  I am also going to make sure my gas tank is full and all my errands are done!

Sarah

Monday Morning Models…First Impressions
January 25, 2010

I quickly scanned the morning runs of the GFS and the NAM (both are American computer models).  My first impressions are that they look a little slower with rain breaking out Wednesday night, and slower in ending the wintry precip Thursday night.

I’m impressed with how much moisture both models are showing, but the big question  is how much of that moisture is rain…how much is freezing rain/sleet, and how much is leftover for snow?

The general theme remains similar to what I was thinking yesterday.  The rain breaks out Wednesday night as the storm center develops in Texas.  Cold air drops in from the north.  Rain will turn to freezing rain and snow in the north by early Thursday morning.  The changeover from rain to sleet/ice, and then to snow will take place in central Oklahoma during the day Thursday. 

It looks like there could be a period of accumulating snow Thursday night across much of central Oklahoma.  The snow will end by Friday morning and next weekend will be dry and cold.

Remember, it’s still early and many details WILL CHANGE.  Let me repeat….MANY DETAILS WILL CHANGE, so stay in touch.

Rick

Sunday Update…Thursday Looks Interesting
January 24, 2010

I’ve just finished eating my lunch while checking out the latest models.  Both the American model (the GFS) and the European model (the European, duh) are showing a storm system moving from the southwest U.S. into the southern Plains beginning Wednesday. 

Both models break out light rain on Wednesday afternoon.  A cold front drops into Oklahoma Wednesday night with the precip changing over to ice or snow in the north.  Thursday will be cold with rain changing to ice and snow central and south.  As the center of the storm strengthens over northern Louisiana, we could have some wind issues as well

Based on what the models are showing, there could be enough wintry precip to cause problems around here Thursday afternoon into Thursday night.  There is still plenty of time for things to change, but if you have any travel plans Thursday into Friday morning across Oklahoma, you’ll want to stay informed on how this storm will affect us.

I’m in working today and I’ll have the latest at 5:30 and again at 10 PM.  Of course stay tuned to Channel 5 and koco.com through the week and we’ll keep you informed.

Rick