Winter weather blew into Stephens County Monday with a hazardous outlook and a winter weather advisory lasting until Wednesday afternoon for most of Oklahoma and parts of western north Texas.
According to the National Weather Service (NWS) out of Norman, the early season ice storm is expected to bring “significant additional accumulations of ice to the region.” Most of Monday saw sleet and freezing rain across Oklahoma.
Freezing rain, according to NWS, is expected to continue periodically through Wednesday morning across the northwest half of Oklahoma and sleet is also expected, “particularly across west central and northwest Oklahoma.” NWS states light snow may occur in the northwest corner of Oklahoma.
Freezing temperatures will occur across most of Oklahoma and western north Texas by Tuesday morning.
Around Duncan, a chance of rain or freezing rain is expected before 10 p.m tonight, followed by a chance of freezing rain between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. and then freezing rain, possibly mixed with sleet, after 1 a.m. Thunder is also possible and with a north, northeast wind around 18 miles per hour, gusts can be expected to reach up to 25 miles per hour. The total nighttime ice accumulation is expected to be 0.1 to 0.2 of an inch with little or no sleet accumulation expected.
On Tuesday, rain or freezing rain is expected with it set to transition to all rain after 7 a.m. Some thunder is possible and the high is expected to be near 35 degrees. With a north, northeast wind of 15-17 miles per hour, gusts are expected to reach as high as 24 miles per hour. New accumulation of less than 0.1 of an inch is possible.
Tuesday night shows rain is likely, and it will be cloudy with a high around 33. With a north, northeast wind of 10-14 miles per hour, gusts could reach as high as 20 miles per hour. New precipitation amounts show a possibly between a quarter and half of an inch.
On Wednesday, rain is expected with high near 42.
The winter weather advisory for portions of central, east central, northwest, southern and western Oklahoma and northern Texas remains in effect until 1 p.m. Wednesday and includes mixed precipitation, additional sleet and snow accumulations up to one inch and ice accumulations of up to two-tenths of an inch.
With leaves remaining on trees and a “breezy north wind,” power outages should be expected.
Warnings from NWS state with additional ice accumulation through early Wednesday, “widespread power outage with heavier ice accumulations” are expected and “power could be lost for several days.” Dangerous road conditions and widespread tree damage is also expected. Because hazardous conditions could impact “morning or evening commute(s),” NWS recommends slowing down and using caution if traveling is necessary.
According to Oklahoma Department of Transportation, crews continue salt and sand operations in western and north-central Oklahoma counties. ODOT is also closely monitoring areas with rain in eastern and central Oklahoma as conditions can quickly change as temperatures are expected to be at or below freezing.
If overnight travel is necessary, drivers should use extreme caution, especially on bridges and overpasses which tend to develop slick conditions ahead of highway pavements.
In Oklahoma, call 844-465-4997 or visit www.okroads.org for road information. An app is also available under the name “Drive Oklahoma” on smart phones.
Winter weather safety
• Slow down and use caution if traveling is necessary.
• Stay about 200 feet behind road clearing equipment; crews need room to maneuver and can engage plowing or spreading materials without notice.
• Allow extra space between vehicles to provide adequate distance for braking.
• Be aware of "black ice," which looks wet on the roadway but is a thin layer of ice.
• Be patient, plan trips ahead and allow extra time in reaching destinations.
• Charge your devices and make sure you’ll still get warnings and critical weather information even if power goes out.
• Those using generators should never use a generator indoors and should keep them well away from doors, windows and air intakes. Grills and camping stoves should also be used outside and the house should always have a CO detector to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. In the 2007 ice storm, nine people died from carbon monoxide poisoning, which occurs when a generator isn’t working properly or isn’t vented correctly.
• Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and make sure they have a warm, dry place with plenty of food and water.
• Have a home emergency kit on hand, including clothing and blankets, water for at least three days, non-perishable food, battery powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, can opener, cell phone with chargers, extra batteries and pet supplies.
• Know the difference between a winter storm watch, a winter storm warning and a winter weather advisory.
• Numbers to call with outage reports in Marlow
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday — City Hall 580-658-5401
24 hours a day — Dispatch 580-658-2121
Stay informed with City of Marlow, text 73055 to 888-777.
• Numbers to call with outage reports in Comanche
7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday — City Hall 580-439-8832
24 hours a day — Dispatch 580-439-2211
• Numbers to call with outage reports in Duncan
For power outages -- 580-251-7690
7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday - City Hall 580-252-0250
During nights, Sundays, and Holidays — 580-255-2112
24 hours a day - Dispatch 580-255-2112
Campuses announce closures/virtual learning for Tuesday, Oct. 27
• Bray-Doyle Public Schools will not be in session and all classes are canceled.
• Central High Public Schools will close Tuesday.
• Comanche Public Schools will go virtual only for Tuesday, Oct. 27 due to potential inclement weather.
• Duncan Public Schools and all activities are canceled.
• Duncan and Lawton Cameron University campuses will close Tuesday only.
• Empire Public Schools will close Tuesday.
• Marlow Public Schools will close Tuesday.
• Red River Technology Center will close Tuesday.
• Velma-Alma Public Schools will not be in session Tuesday.