MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

December 9, 2013

More snow expected for state this week

It should be less heavy, less widespread

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Keep that shovel handy: Oklahoma is bracing for more snow after a weekend of snow, sleet and ice.

National Weather Service meteorologist Wayne Ruff said a storm is expected to develop quickly late Monday, but its impact is likely to be more localized than the Thursday and Friday storms, which left up to 5 inches across the state. A few more inches are expected to fall Monday into Tuesday.

“It’s a much smaller region than the last snowfall, and the air mass is much dryer,” Ruff said. “It kind of starts up really in western Oklahoma, but once it does get going in western Oklahoma it will move very fast into southern Kansas and western Missouri.”

Ruff said the air mass will not have as much moisture as last week’s storm, and snowfall totals are expected to be 1 to 2 inches in northeastern Oklahoma, less in Kansas and Missouri. The northwest part of the state was expected to see up to 3 inches.

“Oh, lovely,” said Keli Cain, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Services, when told of the forecast. “We still have all of our folks working from the past event, so we will step in and be prepared to do whatever we need to do.”

Cain said the state’s emergency operations center remained active Sunday, but that most state agencies were in southeastern Oklahoma helping removing debris, such as tree limbs from roadways.

In southern Oklahoma, where the snow was accompanied with sleet, ice and freezing rain, roadways remained slick as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation continued working to clear the thoroughfares.

Oklahoma 91 from Durant into Texas was closed at the request of Texas officials because of numerous accidents, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, and southbound travel into Texas was discouraged on U.S. 69/75 and on Interstate 35, the main corridor from Oklahoma City to Dallas.

“It’s a virtual parking lot down there,” said OHP Lt. Scott Hampton. “Every one of our truck stops are full.”

“We are absolutely discouraging travel,” Hampton said.

“I would tell anyone who plans to get out to be prepared to possibly spend eight to 10 hours in their vehicle.”

The weather has been blamed for the death of a 5-year-old boy in an auto accident on an icy road in Muskogee, and Oklahoma City police have said that the frigid conditions are believed to be responsible for the death of a man whose body was found beneath an overpass where transients are known to congregate.

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