For several days now I have waited while periodically holding my breath, hoping that we here in Oklahoma would get some kind of precipitation. Really I am not that picky, giant bowling ball hail stones, 4 inches of freezing rain, 2 feet of snow--really I am not picky at this point.
Anything--we are just about to the point that we will take anything.
And at this time, the National Weather Service has left these rather cryptic "predictions" about the possibility of a Winter Storm hitting this area. I say cryptic, because I have seen more specific details shared in newspaper horoscopes.
So here is the map of Preciptation Chances.
Then I go to one of the central counties [in the center of the state] and read the Hazardous Weather Statements, and this is what catches my eye:
OTHER HAZARDOUS WEATHER...It's that last part that really vexes me:
A LIGHT AND BRIEF PERIOD OF RAIN AND WINTRY MIX WILL BE POSSIBLE
STARTING LATE MONDAY NIGHT ACROSS PARTS OF OKLAHOMA AND WESTERN NORTH
TEXAS. THE WINTRY MIX IS EXPECTED TO CHANGE OVER TO SNOW AND BLOWING
SNOW CHRISTMAS DAY...WITH THE SNOW ENDING CHRISTMAS NIGHT. THE
FORECAST OF EXACTLY WHERE AND HOW MUCH IS STILL UNCERTAIN...SO
CONTINUE TO WATCH FOR UPDATES TO THE FORECAST...ESPECIALLY IF YOU
PLAN TO TRAVEL ON OR AROUND CHRISTMAS DAY. ALSO REFER TO THE SPECIAL
WEATHER STATEMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
The forecast of exactly where and how much is still uncertain...
Please tell me that the Tornado Chances will not be predicted in this fashion, in the coming spring, because storm season already feels like a one is on the Whack-a-mole board, AS THE MOLE!
This is what happened with Hurricane Sandy if you will recall. The National Weather Service detected something hinky about the forecast models or some such, and refused to issue absolutes like they did in the past.
Should we be nervous? Or simple annoyed? Do I need to get the Tarot cards out and figure this out myself? Or perhaps a magic 8-ball?
Some kind of ball park estimate would be cool with me.
2-4? 4-8? more than that? A lot more or a little more?
Will I need tall boots to get the mail? Or will regular shoes do?
Should people be anticipating power outages or impassable roads? These are good things to know in advance so we can do silly things like stock up on food and fuel and make sure generators are in working order, and make arrangements to check on elderly relatives and neighbors.
In Oklahoma, the locals here stink at driving on ice and snow. Many simply do not slow down. 4 inches of snow, sometimes less than that, can shut this place down for a day or two.
So it's really lovely when we get winter weather to get some kind of idea what to expect beyond "It's going to snow somewhere in the state." I got grandpas all over the state that can make THAT prediction with their bunions.
I can tell we have a pretty significant front moving in. Today and the day before we have had days with mare's tales flying, lots of cloud iridescence which means ice crystals way up high, and very very cold air. Sun-dogs which mean there is a lot of moisture and, we also saw Moon-dogs too. I am not complaining about those issues, I would just like some kind of clue as to how much precipitation to expect and what kind, if any accumulation will happen.
Is that too much to ask?
Perhaps some local Weather Guru can explain to me what is going on, because I don't "get" this kind of prediction at all. I don't much care for it either.
Sun Dec 23, 2012 at 7:58 AM PT: It appears that NWS is now predicting more wintery mix for a large swath of Oklahoma. Like the middle third of the state. And then snow after that with very low windchill factors. You can click on this link http://www.srh.noaa.gov/... And click on any of the thumbnails to see the predicted path of the storm and the kind of precipitation expected.
If we get a lot of ice [wintery mix] then power outages could be a problem. The predictions of high winds blowing snow hard enough to create low visibility for motorists could also mean trouble even for a light icing on power lines. So heads up. Once those lines are weighed down and the wind starts blowing hard that stresses them and causes outages. I would check to see that one has adequate food, water, and fuel for an outage.
Cover your external water spikots so that your pipes don't freeze. Expect to let your water drip inside to also keep water from freezing due to low temperatures.
Make sure that outdoor animals have plenty of shelter and fodder and a clean source of water.
Pack an emergency kit in your car if you must travel, so that if you get stranded you have some food, water, and a blanket or heavy jacket and fully charged cell phone.
Be sure and make plans to check on or move the elderly or infirm if the power goes out.
Have a safe and happy holiday.
Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 4:47 AM PT: Snow with widespread blowing snow. Temperature falling to around 19 by 5pm. North wind 16 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 4 to 8 inches possible.
From the updated NWS Forecast.
The snow happens on Christmas Day. Wintery Mix begins at midnight with falling temperatures on Christmas Eve.
KOCO's Weather Predictions for Monday and Tuesday:
Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 8:06 AM PT: Not much snow. Just ice and sleet, and luckily not a lot of that either. A couple of times the power went out but not for long, we didn't have to run the generator. The roads are still dangerous though and it's frigid outside.