Welcome to this week’s OU Nightly Weekly Weather Watch!
Winter is coming, and it is coming in with a vengeance. A strong winter storm is making its way towards the Sooner state, bringing freezing cold temperatures, snow, and gusty winds. For Norman, OK, the first type of precipitation to fall will be rain starting overnight on Tuesday, February 1, 2022. This rain will only stick around for a few hours before heading out east. Then after a short period of no dry weather, the wintry mess makes it grand appearance. On Wednesday, February 2, 2022, the precipitation will start off as a wintry mix, potentially causing driving issues and school cancellations. Then by Wednesday night, all of the precipitation will be snow. Once the snow starts to fall, it won’t stop until late in the afternoon on Thursday, February 3, 2022.
This storm is by far an extremely tricky one to forecast and pin down the exact details of the timing and the total amounts of snow, sleet, ice, and rain. This forecast is ever-changing, so be sure to tune in to the local National Weather Service office and television stations to keep up to date on the forecast.
Winter Storm Timing
This winter storm won’t just be affecting Oklahoma, it will be impacting a total of 19 states. All the way from New Mexico to Illinois to Maine, wintry precipitation will cause travel issues as well as bringing snow and ice. A mix of rain and sleet will begin on Tuesday evening and into the overnight hours for many across the central plains and Midwest, transitioning over to freezing rain and snow by Wednesday morning. Snowfall will begin to ramp up across the Midwest and central and southern plains on Wednesday after midnight, especially along the I-70 corridor. By noon on Wednesday, ice accumulations will begin across portions of the southern plains and points east into the Ohio River Valley. This will give way to a large mix of wintry precipitation (ice, freezing rain, sleet) to become more concentrated over the same areas along portions of the Ohio River Valley.
Impacts of Winter Storm
The winter storm will bring different impacts to different parts of the United States. For the Southeast, the roads could become difficult to navigate as snow and ice begin to accumulate, especially in the early stages of this system before it marches east. Any ice accumulations that form along the Central Plains and into the Midwest could also cause power outages, as well as downed trees or power lines, making travel treacherous or nearly impossible. This, in combination with winds exceeding 35 miles per hour, may cause these impacts to become more widespread. The Ohio River Valley can anticipate snowfall accumulations anywhere between 5 to 15 inches, according to National Weather Service offices across the region. Temperatures will also be dipping well below freezing, with wind chill factors below zero anticipated for much of the warned areas over the next few days.