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Old 06-28-2010, 03:12 PM
 
18 posts, read 55,973 times
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Default Snow?

I'm used to snow and it isn't a problem for me at all, but I am wondering what the volume of snowfall is in Norman and OKC and people's reaction to it. Does everyone freak out and shut schools/businesses down? Or is it such a common occurrence during certain months that everything operates as normal? If it does snow, does it melt pretty fast? I'll be biking pretty much every day, and I'm wondering if I should bring some winter tires down with me just in case the snow stays glued to the sidewalks/bike lanes for an inordinate amount of time.
Thanks for the info!
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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For statistical analysis, you can check CDF OKC details at: http://www.city-data.com/city/Oklaho...-Oklahoma.html

As far as getting freaked out, yes and no. We all joke and laugh when there is a storm coming and people flock to Lowes or wherever to grab the salt, etc.

But you have to bear in mind, sometimes our weather pattern falls in between the snow to the north and rain to the south with a "freezing mixture of rain, sleet, and ice" for OK which spells trouble.

So yeah, we DO get very little in the way of snow relative to other parts of the country, but we also enjoy the ice storms as long as we don't have to drive to work in it.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Fayetteville, AR
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I grew lived 25 years in Oklahoma and moved up to Wichita, Kansas a couple of years ago. It's amazing how much better the city up here handles snow. Go further north to Kansas City and it gets better. My point is that OKC apparently doesn't get enough snow to justify having enough snow plows. When a major storm occurs, they will usually get the highways clear and some of the main roads but you will hear reports on the news about lack of plows and salt. It's not really that bad because usually the snow melts in a few days. The winter weather isn't consistently bad but the cities really aren't prepared to handle it when it does occur. Dallas got an 8 inch snow this winter that crippled the city and shutdown the airport. I know 8inches is a lot but that might as well be 4 feet for them.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _redbird_ View Post
For statistical analysis, you can check CDF OKC details at: http://www.city-data.com/city/Oklaho...-Oklahoma.html

But you have to bear in mind, sometimes our weather pattern falls in between the snow to the north and rain to the south with a "freezing mixture of rain, sleet, and ice" for OK which spells trouble.
Does the ice coat the roads pretty heavily? I'm used to some degree of ice and thicker snow, but in Alaska we use studded tires in the winter, so it's not that bad. I'm not looking forward to those slick days without studs down there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by knrstz View Post
It's not really that bad because usually the snow melts in a few days. The winter weather isn't consistently bad but the cities really aren't prepared to handle it when it does occur. Dallas got an 8 inch snow this winter that crippled the city and shutdown the airport. I know 8inches is a lot but that might as well be 4 feet for them.
Yes, 8 inches is a lot for Alaska or upstate NY, even. Can't imagine what it would be like down south. Has OKC ever had a storm like that?
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Old 06-29-2010, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Edmond, OK
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Christmas Eve 2009, we had a major blizzard in OKC. At our house in Edmond, we had something like 14". Road were impassible. People were stranded in the cars on freeways. The city is just not equipped for that kind of snow. I can't talk about long term weather, as I've only been here for 4 winters, but they do seem to get a lot of ice. Sometimes more ice than snow. The entire area usually shuts down with any accumulation of ice or snow.
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Deer Creek/Edmond, OKla
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I recall this last winter getting snow close to or over a foot twice. The one debskidz referred to and I believe another one in Jan. Many businesses did shut down..

That much snow certainly is not common, though I would prefer it over ice any day. Ever tried to make an ice man?

We will typically get an dusting to a couple of inches of snow at a time off and on through out winter.
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Jones, Oklahoma
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Snows like the blizzard last Christmas are few and far between. The last time I remember that much snow falling in Oklahoma at once was in the 80's and I was about 7 years old.....lol. Typically, you will get heavier snowfall in Western and Northern Oklahoma. Southern Oklahoma normally gets very little and Central Oklahoma usually won't get over 4-6 in. at a time. Ice however is a different story. Oklahoma gets all kinds of sleet, freezing rain and ice. 1/4 in. of ice on a power line can be enough to bring it down and it doesn't take much more than that on the roads to make them like a giant skating rink. Sand is not always a huge help when it comes to ice, so you will find that schools and businesses will shut down rather than make people get out on the roads. I moved to Utah last September, and it was a very mild winter, but still more snow than I'm used to seeing. The roads however were rarely a problem because there was no sleet or ice so there is a big difference. They try to keep main highways and roads clear, but you will find it takes much longer for secondary roads and even sidewalks to clear up, so if you've got special tires, I'd go ahead and bring them. Not sure what Alaska has as far as bike lanes, but they are everywhere up here in Utah. You won't see hardly any in Oklahoma.....
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:03 AM
 
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From what I have seen the snow in OK is usually very different from snow in the mountains or the north country (Alaska, for example). It often includes ice to a degree and extent you don't usually see in Alaska except in those fog-ice storms nearer the coast. In OK the ice can build up on trees and shrubs and split and destroy 100-year-old trees, splitting them into dozens if not hundreds of pieces. The ice can build up on trees and power lines while still melting on the streets, causing the power lines to break and trees to block the roads but no snow or ice of consequence on the road itself.

When the trees weigh down from the ice they can come down on power lines and pull the power boxes off of houses. Several years ago we--and about 250,000 other people--were without electricity for 10 days and had to get a generator, even though there was almost no buildup of ice on the road.

Also, studded snow tires and 4 wheel drive don't mean anything on icy streets. They just allow you to get into a deeper ditch is all. Even the smallest of hills can become impossible to drive up when the road is coated with ice. There are thousands of miles of streets within the Oklahoma City metro area, that's a lot of roads to salt and sand quickly.

You might want to google "ice storms" and read up on them. They can be among the most destructive of nature's storms, and they happen frequently in the "cross timbers" area that passes through Oklahoma. In fact, the "cross timbers" is defined by the frequent ice storms that snap the tops and branches off of trees, often making the area unpassable. Google "cross timbers" and "Oklahoma" or "Texas" for more info.

So, for a short answer, a prairie blizzard is a different beast from a mountain blizzard which is a different beast from an ice storm which is different from a Alaskan coastal ice-fog storm. Each has different consequences and hallmarks. At least the weather in Oklahoma is interesting, unlike the continuous mediterranean climate in LA and San Diego...
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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People generally freak out with snow around here, but I think it's largely due to the ice and/or sleet that often precedes snowfall. When it does snow the depth varies depending on the region, and it is usually gone within a few days. Sometimes it will stay on the ground for a week or two, but that's unusual. I love winter and love the snow, but can do without black ice.

LOL, when snow is predicted it's best to stay the heck out of the grocery stores as people will run you down to get the last jug of milk on the shelf. They buy grociries like they will be snowed in for the winter. It's kind of funny.
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Old 07-11-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
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Typical OKC snowfall for a season is about 8-9 inches, though last Christmas Eve we got hit with over 13 at one shot. Most of the time, we'll get two or three, then nothing for a while.

Ice storms are a bit scarier: it only takes about 1/20 inch of water to screw up everything in town.
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