Central Oklahoma has a chance for light wintry precipitation mid-week and a better than usual chance for a white Christmas.
A strong system will impact the southern plains Wednesday and Wednesday night, and showers and a few thunderstorms will be possible across part of central and eastern Oklahoma Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service’s forecast for Edmond.
A strong cold front will move through the area Wednesday night, bringing freezing temperatures to parts of Oklahoma and western north Texas by early Thursday morning.
Light wintry precipitation will be possible across parts of northern and central Oklahoma through early Thursday morning. KOCO Chief Meteorologist Damon Lane said computer models show the Edmond area getting a few flurries from the system.
Regarding chances for a white Christmas, current computer models are showing a chance for rain on Christmas Eve changing to snow by the evening of Christmas Day, Lane said. In the Edmond area amounts could be 1-3 inches, with higher amounts in eastern and southern Oklahoma, Lane said.
Highs are expected to be near 66 Wednesday, 48 Thursday, 56 Friday and in the mid 50s during the weekend.
During the remainder of this week, fire danger will remain elevated, according to the National Weather Service. Warm, dry and breezy conditions will bring very high to extreme fire danger across parts of southwest Oklahoma. Conditions will continue Thursday behind the cold front with strong northwest winds and dry air.
Moderate to exceptional drought covers 61.9 percent of the contiguous U.S., according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Dec. 11 update. Most of Oklahoma is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought.
Just a few years ago, Edmond experienced a memorable white Christmas.
On Dec. 24, 2009, the ingredients for a powerful winter storm converged on the Southern Plains, causing severe, blustery winds and heavy precipitation, according to a National Weather Service review of the blizzard. Rain changed to sleet and then snow, causing the most widespread blizzard conditions to affect Oklahoma in decades.
The record-setting storm produced 4-8 inches of snow across Wichita Falls up through Oklahoma City and Stillwater, according to the National Weather Service. Local snow totals exceeded 10 inches, including the most snow ever recorded in a single day at both Oklahoma City and Wichita Falls.
For several hours, winds sustained at 40 mph and gusting to 60 mph created whiteout conditions with visibility of less than 100 feet. The winds built snow drifts at least 3 feet deep, and many vehicles had to be abandoned after becoming stuck in the snow.
There were at least nine fatalities and hundreds of injuries in Oklahoma related to the blizzard, according to the National Weather Service. It caused closure of airports, roads, highways and interstates where many vehicles were abandoned. The National Guard rescued stranded motorists. Numerous power outages also were reported.
To track daily snowfall in the U.S., visit www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news and click on the link to the article “What Are the Chances You Will Have a White Christmas?” and click on the “U.S. Daily Snowfall map” link in the article.
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