Tulsa receives more than a foot of snow in epic storm
BY DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
2/04/11 at 2:14 PM
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The city of Tulsa on Tuesday officially recorded 14 inches of snow and sleet, shattering the old record for the most accumulation in a 24-hour span.
The previous record for the most snow in Tulsa for the entire month of February was 10.5 inches in 2003. That mark was shattered Tuesday in about half-a-day on the month's first day.
National Weather Service meteorologist Chuck Hodges said the old record for any 24-hour period in Tulsa was 12.9 inches, which was received on March 8 and 9, 1994.
Fellow National Weather Service meteorologist David Jankowski said that about an inch of the 14 inches that Tulsa received may have been in the form of sleet before the precipitation switched over to all snow in the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Even if it was, though, the March 1994 record was officially broken. Jankowski said snow and sleet are traditionally combined in adding up the precipitation amount.
Bruce Sherbon, also a meteorologist at the Tulsa office of the National Weather Service, said existing snow was expected to be blown around by high winds through the night. That led to a blizzard warning being issued for the Tulsa area until midnight even after the storm had moved off to the northeast.
Hodges said the Tulsa area met the criteria for a blizzard, which is visibility of a quarter-mile or less and winds at least gusting to the 35 mile-per-hour level.
He said a powerful low-pressure system that moved across the area was responsible for what he called a "classic" storm as a tremendous amount of moisture collided with cold air.
Lows are expected to be near or even below zero the next few nights--including eight below zero early Thursday morning-- and the highs are expected to be below freezing until Saturday's expected high in the upper 30s.
There is a 20 percent chance of snow on Sunday.