The state and surrounding areas are forecast to be hit by a snowstorm this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Meteorologist Matthew Day said a snowstorm is expected to come in early Sunday morning. The storm is forecast to hit Oklahoma with heavier snow, but snow is also expected to hit parts of Kansas and the panhandle and north parts of Texas.
Day said wind chills will start dipping below zero as early as Saturday morning, and are projected to get even colder in the following days.
He said the northwest part of Oklahoma is expected to be the hardest hit with possibly nine inches of snow, while the southeast could receive five inches Sunday through Monday. Central Oklahoma could get six to 12 inches of snow. However, some uncertainty exists with the projections.
A 50% chance of snow is forecast Wednesday, with snow flurries possible late Tuesday.
Day said a broad storm system from the west is combining with a lot of moisture, which is bringing a more broad area of snow to the area compared to what normally occurs. He said snow is forecast to be very dry, leading to higher expected higher accumulations, and dry snow usually blows around more and creates less visibility.
Upcoming temperatures for the area include the following morning lows and highs in the afternoon:
- Friday — 16, 22
- Saturday — 13, 22
- Sunday — minus 9, 12
- Monday — 1, 8
- Tuesday — minus 6, 18
- Wednesday — 14, 26
Day said wind chills are expected to by minus 10 Sunday morning and minus 15 Monday and Tuesday mornings.
Weather is expected to beginning improving Thursday, but there is quite a bit of uncertainty in that forecast at this point, he said.
Day encouraged residents to do any necessary errands they have Thursday or Friday in preparation for the possible weekend snowstorm, including stocking up on lots of food and water. He also suggested checking on neighbors and being prepared to stay home for a couple of days, as road conditions would be hazardous in the event of snowfall, especially Sunday and Monday.
For those who have to get out, he encouraged residents to drive slow, allow extra driving time and take along items such as water, food, a flashlight, blankets or coats for warmth and a snow scraper. Day also suggested starting cars early to warm them up before leaving.
Day said cold air makes it harder for snow to melt and causes it to stay longer. Any residents who get outside after the snowstorm should dress appropriately, not stay outside long and check on their body temperature, because staying outside for too long can cause hypothermia and frostbite.