Tuesday’s snow may accumulate even if it’s above freezing

TULSA, Okla. — The incoming storm system has lots of energy and moisture. What it will be lacking in Oklahoma is seriously cold air. However, we still expect a good snowfall out of it.

Here’s how this can happen:

At cloud level, where the precipitation forms, the temperatures will be solidly below freezing. This means we will see snow formation as the storm system pushes into Oklahoma. Some of that snow will initially melt as it falls to the surface in above-freezing air. This rain/snow mix in the afternoon is likely to transition fully to snow by evening as the column of air above the surface gradually cools thanks to the continued downward transport of that sub-freezing air. This will also cause temperatures to gradually fall at ground level.

Even if our air temperature hovers a degree or two above freezing, we can still see that snow accumulate so long as the snowfall rate is faster than the melting process.

The heavier the snow, the more likely the snow will stick to surfaces including roadways. The snowpack at the ground will also act to keep surface temperatures near freezing. This means once a heavy burst of snow occurs, it is likely to stick for the rest of the storm with only slow melting.

The snowflakes will have a high moisture content, making it a very packable and even slushy snow. The highest snow totals will occur just north of the center of low pressure and where the transition to snow occurs fastest. Be sure to check the updated FOX23 forecast for the latest on the expected snow totals and timing of the storm.





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