Freezing rain remains in the forecast for the northeast corner of Oklahoma.
MIAMI — While it's not as bad as originally forecast, freezing rain remains in the forecast for the northeast corner of Oklahoma.
“There still is a potential for some freezing rain,” said Joe Sellers of the National Weather Service (NWS) office in Tulsa. “It will be more like a quarter of an inch.”
According to the NWS, although some uncertainties in the details remain, both significant ice accumulation and heavy rain/flooding concerns still look likely for parts of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas late this week through the weekend, as a strong and slow-moving upper-level storm system impacts the area.
With shallow cold air likely to move into parts of the region, potentially significant ice accumulations may occur across parts of northeast Oklahoma beginning Friday and continuing into Sunday.
Areas northwest of Interstate 44 remain the most likely to see ice accumulations greater than a quarter of an inch, with lesser accumulations as far south and east as Okemah, Wagoner and Jay, according to the NWS.
In addition to the ice potential, multiple rounds of heavy rain are likely this weekend, with widespread storm total amounts from 3 to 5 inches — locally higher — expected. Amounts of this caliber could lead to flooding concerns, despite the ongoing drought conditions.
“This is the first one to potentially have a major impact over a large area,” Sellers said. “The conditions are right.”
The National Weather Service makes these suggestions in case of winter weather:
In your car: make sure you have food, water and blankets in your trunk. Stay off the road when advised to do so by local authorities. Have some salt or sand to help with traction.
Dress for the season: wear loose, warm clothing in layers.
During and after the storm: never use a generator or kerosene heater indoors - carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer.
After the storm: take breaks when shoveling snow and stay clear of downed power lines. Salt and sand also are helpful here.
It’s recommended that there is an Emergency Preparedness Kit that includes three days of food, water and prescription medications.
Also, make sure cell phones are fully charged when a storm is approaching as well as any time one is leaving the house. And have replacement batteries on hand for radios and flashlights.
It’s a good idea to bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non-frozen drinking water.
Weather updates are available from the NWS on its website or Facebook page.