Oklahoma Weather & Stuff
"Things will surely change in the next 24 hours or so, as this major winter storm moves through Oklahoma. At the moment, the radar on "The Weather Channel" appears that Woods County is missing the snow and ice, at least for the time being. Enid seems to be on the edge it, with a line that extends down to the Altus area.
I left Alva yesterday afternoon (Thursday, 1/11/2007) about 4 p.m. and it was 73 degrees. Kids were riding bikes in their shorts and short-sleeve shirts, and I was running the A/C in my car, full blast! By the time I got home (we live in Freedom, a 28-mile drive west of Alva, 25 west and 3 south), the temperature had fallen to 58 degrees, a drop of 15 degrees in about a half-hour.
This Friday morning's drive to Alva was at 19 degrees for most of the drive, though it dipped to 18 for a few seconds at the Twelve-Mile Corner (the Waynoka road) and then rose to 20 for the last two or three miles into Alva.
I left Alva about noon today (Friday, 1/12/2007) and it was 20 degrees when I left and 19 by the time I arrived in Freedom.
Carolyn went to Woodward Thursday morning to stock up on a few items, just in case the prediction of ice is accurate and we lose electrical power. As early as 10:30 a.m., the large parking lot at the Wal-Mart store there was absolutely full of cars and folks were literally in a frenzy trying to stock up on water, batteries, propane bottles, food, and other items. We needed a few small bottles of propane and one larger 20-lb bottle, water, and D-size batteries, none of which were available there.
Alva's store was not exactly a frenzy, but they were nearly sold out of water and were completely out of propane bottles. Fortunately, Carolyn found the larger propane bottle at another store in Woodward (Walgreen's, of all places) and we have seven of the smaller ones on hand.
Various school functions in the region are being canceled or postponed, of course. The university is observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, so if things get really serious, we do have an extra day to recover.
Of course, it's too early to predict ice damage and the like, since the storm is just now starting to move through Oklahoma. TV reporters in Tulsa are indicating that it's getting pretty slick and hazardous there; Oklahoma City is nasty and there has been one traffic fatality this morning when a truck overturned on I-44.
Gas in Alva today was $2.109 per gallon. It typically is about twenty cents a gallon higher than Enid and other surrounding towns. Nobody knows why that is, exactly - greed, perhaps? The rumor-mill says that one individual in Alva sets the price - and the same truck delivers to all the stations. I have no idea if that's true - I hope it's not.
Overnight, things have changed slightly.
At the moment, "weather.com" indicates our temp is 18 degrees with a 6 degree wind-chill and that it's snowing. As I stand at the front door, the ground is white, as if the snow has just dusted everything with enough to cover everything, but no serious accumulations at this point. Just now, the "snow" is clattering against the north side of the house (winds seem calm actually, but there's enough of a breeze to make it hit the windows on the north); it sounds, feels, and looks more like sleet than snow. Perhaps it began as snow and then changed - I have no idea.
I was going to take a photo of it, but my digital camera doesn't do its best in dark conditions unless I drag out the tripod - (refer to earlier 18 degree temp and 6 degree wind chill).
We still have electricity, which was one of the major concerns when they first began to talk about this storm. We are still appearing on the "ice map" for predictions over the weekend; perhaps the sleet marks the arrival of that system. If I happen to get any nifty "winter wonderland" photos, I'll forward one or two of them to you.
At 8:12 a.m., Saturday... The sleet has turned to a very light and gentle snow, still no major accumulations - tufts of dry grass sticking up through the snow here and there." -- Rod Murrow
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