Thursday, June 30 2022

Christmas may have seemed like summer for residents of the metro area, but New Year’s Day won’t be, with temperatures averaging in the 20s and dropping as low as the teens.

The cold front will hit northwest Oklahoma on Saturday morning, before moving into the midsection of the state. Southern Oklahoma is not expected to feel the drastic drop in temperature until mid-afternoon. Temperatures will likely drop below freezing by 6 p.m. Saturday

“We will likely see a drop in temperatures throughout the holidays, for the most part,” said Matthew Day, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Norman. “By Sunday morning, we’ll be mostly single digits in all of Oklahoma.”

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The dramatic change follows abnormally hot weather Oklahoma experienced over the Christmas weekend, which saw temperatures as high as the 70s and 80s and set regional records.

A cold air mass so suddenly replacing an equally warm air mass is predictable, meteorologists say. The cold front follows typical arctic air patterns from the North Pole, blowing northwest to southeast.

But as quickly as temperatures dropped over the weekend, by the next weekday the state expects to return to average daily temperatures for the season.

“We’ll be back in the 50s by Monday, that’s what we’re anticipating,” Day said.

So far, experts have come up with plenty of recommendations on how to stay safe and warm during the freeze.

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  • Dress appropriately and limit your movements. “You don’t want to go out in the cold unless you absolutely have to,” Day said. “If you do, be sure to wear warm layers.”
  • Run your faucets and stay alert for inclement weather and prepared for storms. Whenever extreme weather conditions are forecast, it’s always a good idea to make sure your pantry is stocked, so you’ll be ready in case the power goes out or you can’t leave your residence. . Remember to also run cold water from the faucets in your home before a severe freeze warning. Running water through the pipes can keep them from freezing, even if it’s just a trickle.
  • Drive carefully and carry an emergency kit with you. Oklahoma already ranks first in auto-related deaths, and the winter months can be especially dangerous. Wet weather makes roads and bridges slippery, and freezing temperatures bringing ice and snow also increase the risk of car tires losing traction. For the New Year’s weekend, weather forecasters aren’t expecting much frozen precipitation outside of flurries of snow and fleeting sleet, but it’s never a bad idea to be alert to the weather (so than the condition of your own car) while driving. Also keep an emergency kit nearby, just in case.
  • Keep combustible items away from heating equipment. If you’re in a home that doesn’t have air conditioning or central heating, you’re probably using radiators, in-floor furnaces, and fireplaces to keep you warm. With colder weather, the risk of a home fire increases. The Oklahoma City Fire Department reminds residents to ensure there is at least three feet between the heat source and anything that could catch fire. And in the case of a fireplace, it’s best to keep the damper, or “vent”, open while the fire is on and until all the embers are done burning. This ensures that heat is not trapped as hot air travels through your chimney to your roof. If the damper is not open when the fireplace is in operation, the smoke will quickly rise and fill the house.
  • Install smoke alarms and check them regularly. No matter how hard you try, while trying to keep warm or finish cooking, you can still start a fire. Working smoke alarms have played a key role in keeping residents safe and ensuring they can be rescued in time. Benny Fulkerson of the Oklahoma City Fire Department also said it’s helpful to have a fire escape plan in mind for you and your family before the worst-case scenario occurs.

New Year celebration organized for children in need of special care, orphans at the initiative of the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva (PHOTO / VIDEO)


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