Winter weather is coming to the Stillwater area this weekend, but it’s not predicted to be too problematic.
Earlier in the week, the arctic blast moving into the midwest was predicted to significantly drop temperatures and snow in north-central Oklahoma. The cold temperatures are still predicted, but the snow forecast has decreased.
According to the National Weather Service in Norman, the arctic blast will hit the area Friday evening, dropping the temperature from possibly the mid-50s into the 20s. The effect of the temperature drop depends on how warm it gets Friday, according to NWS Forecaster Bruce Thoren.
“It kind of depends on how much sunshine we get tomorrow and how much we warm up in terms of the overall change,” Thoren said. “If it’s really warm, and it turns cold, you’re more likely to notice a difference, as opposed to if it’s cloudy in the high 40s.”
As far as precipitation, Thoren said it should come after midnight and be done by sunrise. He said it’s likely to be rain turning to snow as the temperature falls, accumulating up to an inch.
“It looks like as we get into the latter part of the evening and especially overnight, there is probably going to be a chance of snow,” Thoren said. “It might be rain to start and change to snow. I think right now it looks like any accumulation would be an inch or less.
“The main certainty is colder temperatures and very windy conditions. Precipitation is not as certain.”
The big concern is going to be the low temperatures and wind gusts, which could be as high as 40 mph, according to Thoren. He said it’s not going to be pleasant Saturday morning, and could be troublesome for drivers.
“The main thing is, especially if you’re going to be driving anywhere, sometimes it might be good to have an extra blanker in the car, just in case if perhaps you have mechanical problems,” Thoren said.
The lows over the weekend are forecast to dip into the upper teens, so Oklahomans are advised to take precautions at home, especially with frozen pipes.
Gina Peek, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension consumer and housing specialist, said a homeowner’s best course of action is to take steps to prevent frozen pipes in the first place.
“It’s best to take action before cold weather hits,” Peek said. “Preventive measures can help ensure your pipes don’t freeze. This is important because a broken pipe can be costly to repair, not including the water damage your home may suffer. Keep in mind water expands when it freezes, which results in a lot of pressure on your water pipes, whether they are metal or plastic.”
Check around your home for water supply lines that may be more susceptible to freezing, such as those located in unheated areas such as your basement, attic, garage and crawl space.