The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

December 18, 2012

Snow in forecast

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Two storm systems are expected to bring strong, gusty winds and the possibility of rain or snow to northwest Oklahoma today.

Mike Honigsberg, director of Enid and Garfield County Emergency Management, said residents shouldn’t expect too much precipitation, though.

One storm system was to pass through the area Tuesday.

“The storm system in the Pacific Northwest will begin moving through the inter-mountain region, and will cause a low pressure system to form in the Texas/Oklahoma Panhandle,” Honigsberg said.

He said the second system would cause a “very strong wind gradient.”

“This means the winds will almost be out of control,” Honigsberg said.

He said major impacts from the front would be blowing dust, especially in southwest Oklahoma, and the possibility of rain and/or snow in the Enid area.

“Don’t get your hopes up on either, simply because we are extremely dry right now,” Honigsberg said. “If either does occur, there may or may not be any measurable precipitation. It’s hard to say right now.”

Winds gusting 40-50 mph are possible, and tonight’s low will be in the mid-20s. That means wind chill values could drop into the single digits, according to National Weather Service.

“This stated, if we see rain, it could become freezing rain and we know what this means — slick roads Thursday morning,” Honigsberg said. “If this falls as light and blowing snow, the roads should be OK. There may be a mix, so just stay aware and drive accordingly (tonight) and Thursday morning.”

NWS puts the precipitation chance at 30 percent tonight. The high temperature is expected to be in the low-60s.

And will we have a white Christmas?

“There are indications from one model that is used in forecasting, that there might be a big change coming,” Honigsberg said. “Several models have to be in agreement before forecasts can become relevant. I would not get your hopes up right now for a white Christmas, but we are watching this very closely. Seven days out is too far to come to any conclusions, especially when other key models are in disagreement.”

According to NWS, a storm out of the Rocky Mountains could bring white-out or blizzard conditions to parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas on Christmas night. An exact track of the storm isn’t known, nor are snowfall amounts.

Forecasters said the weather could force travelers to change their plans next week, and said later reports would have better predictions of where the storm may hit.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.