First day of Winter 2016 comes on 2013 ice storm anniversary

By: Megan McClellan


Quick Facts:

  • Winter has officially started
  • A 2013 ice storm brought freezing rain and ice accumulations up to three quarters of an inch


First Day of Winter 2016

Winter started this morning as temperatures are actually warming up into the weekend. Although Green Country has seen winter conditions a couple times already, astronomical winter didn't start until today.

The day-to-day axis the earth rotates on is tilted. When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, the amount of sunshine received is less than that of the southern hemisphere. This is when we get to witness winter.

The winter solstice is considered to be the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Meteorological winter is considered to span from the beginning of December thru the end of February, leaving an even amount of time between each season.

2013 Ice Storm

Three years after an ice storm started the Christmas holiday, spring-like temperatures and the chance of storms moving in is a difference.

In 2013, the ice storm began on December 19 and continued through December 21 leaving behind ice accumulations from Green Country into portions of northwest Arkansas.

Ice measured near Sapulpa, OK. Image credit: Craig Sullivan, NWS Tulsa.

What started as a very strong cold front pushing into Green Country overnight on December 19, turned into ice accumulations up to 0.75 inches.

Similar to what was seen last week in Green Country, there was a large amount of moisture across the Southern Plains when the cold front came through.

The 2013 cold front, although very cold, was not as deep in the atmosphere as what was seen last weekend. The deeper air mass of 2016 left Green Country with snow while in 2013, there was ice.

Power lines down near ORU campus in Tulsa, OK.

Most of the ice was along the I-44 corridor and portions of Osage County. Areas in southern Oklahoma saw ice accumulations up to 0.50 inches into northwest Arkansas as well.


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