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First major winter storm of the season takes aim at Oklahoma

Jenny Mae Harms / KOSU
A snow-covered street in Stillwater, Okla. during a severe winter storm in February 2021.

Oklahomans are bracing for freezing rain, sleet, snow and ice as the first major winter storm of the season heads for the state.

The National Weather Service in Norman says winter precipitation will begin across northwest Oklahoma Tuesday evening and spread southward overnight into the metro. A wintry mix will continue throughout Wednesday, increasing in coverage and intensity.

National Weather Service meteorologist Rick Smith says travel will become an issue.

"We do have a mixed bag of precipitation coming, and really the worst times as far as when we're going to start to see the travel get impacted by the snow and the winter weather [is] probably going to be during the day on Wednesday into Wednesday night into Thursday."

Precipitation will transition mainly to snow by Thursday across the listening area. Snowfall totals could approach 6 inches in parts of central and northern Oklahoma. Daytime highs Thursday will only reach the teens, and wind chills will be below zero.

Ice will also be a concern mainly in southeastern Oklahoma with up to a half inch of accumulation possible.

"[There] may be enough ice accumulation on trees and power lines to cause some issues. However, this is much different than the last big ice storm we had back in October of 2020, so we're not expecting anything that devastating," Smith said.

Smith says temperatures will also plummet and wind chills between -5 to -15 will be possible.

"Another thing we’re going to be dealing with is exceptionally cold temperatures and very strong north winds," Smith said. "Our wind chills are going to be well below zero in parts of the area by the time we get to Thursday and Friday morning especially."

As temperatures fall, experts say it’s important to let your faucets drip and open cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate the pipes to prevent them from freezing.

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Nyk Daniels is KGOU’s Morning Edition host.
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