The Duncan Banner

December 9, 2012

Change in weather expected to bring a brisk bite

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Weather this week has gradually declined in temperature. That gradual decline is expected to make a more noticeable drop starting tonight.

With high temperatures in the mid-60s Saturday, those temperatures are expected to drop at least 10 degrees today and more than 10 degrees Monday, according to the Weather Channel website. In fact, tonight’s low is expected to be in the mid- to upper-20s, around 27 degrees. There have been a few times throughout the year, including several in November, where the low temperatures have dipped into the 20s, the last time being Nov. 28.

Monday, those temperatures are expected to feature high temperatures in the mid- to low-40s and low temperatures in the low-20s. The weather is also supposed to be partly cloudy with a 10 percent chance of precipitation.

Without knowing what this winter could bring, hardware retailers have seen people buying a variety of things to keep warmth in their homes and around their plumbing.

Virgil Cooper, a manager at ACE Hardware, said people have been buying wintry items including faucet covers, heat tape, pipe insulation and fiberglass insulation.

He said most of these items help keep warmth in homes or, in the case of pipe insulation and facet covers, will help prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.

“I assume we’ll start seeing more people once the weather changes,” Cooper said. “Most people should be in good shape.”

He said some people have already started getting ready for the cold snap that is expected to hit tonight. But there are others he knows haven’t started.

“We keep stuff in stock as much as we can,” Cooper said. “It shouldn’t be bad. We’re not really expecting precipitation, so we haven’t really sold much ice melt.”

Around the same time last year, Duncan had high temperatures in the upper-40s and lower-50s and low temperatures in the mid- to upper-20s. These temperatures are similar to what they are this year.

What’s different between this year and last year is the amount of precipitation.

While Duncan received 2.59 inches in December 2011, this year there hasn’t been any measurable precipitation since Nov. 19.

No or little precipitation is expected in the next 10 days, according to the Weather Channel website.

But as many Oklahomans have said, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait.” In the past five to six years, Duncan and Stephens County weather have shown how unpredictable Oklahoma weather can be.

In 2005 and 2006, Stephens County suffered one of the area’s worst droughts, reaching a peak March 1, 2006 when much of the area was impacted by a rash of wildfires. In May 2007, Duncan received so much rainfall, the city underwent flood conditions, even washing out parts of U.S. Highway 81 and Memorial Park.

On Christmas Eve 2009, a blizzard hit Stephens County and the rest of Oklahoma, with the governor declaring a state of emergency for all 77 counties.

At the end of January 2010, an ice storm froze many electrical lines in Stephens County communities. The weight of the ice was significant enough to take down powerlines, leaving many residents without electrical power for weeks. Once again, a state of emergency was declared for all 77 counties.

In 2011 and 2012, drought conditions have returned, although the historic value of the drought is somewhat unknown. Burn bans have been put in place and removed. The last few months of 2011, resulted in the majority of the rainfall for the year. That rain pattern continued into the first few months of 2012, but have since become somewhat sporadic.