Heavy snow piled up in parts of northeastern Oklahoma on Wednesday,
causing treacherous driving conditions.
"It's snowin' like it means business," said Vinita Police
Department Dispatcher Jake Morrison.
Joann Berry, a dispatcher with the Pryor Police Department, said
3 to 4 inches of snow had fallen by 7 p.m. on grassy surfaces while
1 to 2 inches had accumulated on streets.
"It's starting to get very slick out there," Berry said. She
said state crews began sanding the roads around 5 p.m.
In Miami, Lt. Bill Butler said bridges grew slick around
nightfall and that roads quickly began to deteriorate as well.
"The traction is fair right now," Butler said. "But you can't
brake and you can't accelerate. If you're cautious you can get
around OK. By morning, though, it will probably be a real mess."
Butler said road crews were activated about 5:30 p.m.
In Vinita, police were reporting that 3 inches of snow had
accumulated and that roads were slushy.
Tulsa didn't get enough snow accumulation to build a decent snowman.
The city officially received about .40 of snow Wednesday.
Forecasters said warm ground conditions coupled with temperatures
that stayed above freezing much of the day were responsible for the
modest accumulation, despite large flakes falling for several hours.
Broken Arrow Police Department Communications Supervisor
Danny Clymer said snow began sticking on grassy surfaces in that
city around 5 p.m. He said about a inch accumulated in the next two
hours. He said roads became slushy. National Weather Service
forecaster Richard Uber said up to two inches were recorded in some
parts of Broken Arrow.
Those living in the extreme northeast corner of the state were
less fortunate. The west-to-east path of the storm, coupled with
temperatures that dropped below freezing in the late afternoon, led
to significant accumulations.
Conditions provoked the National Weather Service to put Ottawa,
Delaware, Cherokee, Craig, Mayes and Adair counties under a winter
storm warning Wednesday night. The warning also extended into
Benton, Carroll, Washington and Madison counties in northwest Arkansas.
Forecasters said higher elevations in the warning area could
receive up to 8 inches of snow before the storm passes through.
Other areas could get up to 6 inches of snow.
Uber said the snow was a result of a stationary lower
level system in the southeast part of Oklahoma mixing with an upper
level storm which moved across the southwest United States.
"The interaction of the surface lows in northern Louisiana
and the strong upper level storm front across Texas resulted in
snow," Uber said. "The whole system has generally been moving east.
The forecast has it moving to the northeast for Thursday."
Even though the snow did not pile up in Tulsa, wet roads
combined with temperatures expected to finally drop below 32
degrees had city street crews preparing for hazardous driving
conditions Thursday morning.
Tulsa Public Works had 37 trucks ready to spread a
combination of sand and salt on 45 assigned routes.
Danny Crossland, street maintenance manager for Tulsa Public
Works, said the warm temperatures prevented the need for sand and
salt during the daytime Wednesday.
Police worked at least two minor weather-related injury accidents
Wednesday, a dispatcher said. One occurred about 3:30 p.m. at 2300 S.
Riverside Drive and another occurred later at 1200 Southwest Boulevard.
World staff writer Jerry Hereden contributed to this report.