Rare Christmas Snow for Dallas, OKC, Little Rock
By By Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist
December 27, 2012, 12:11:48 AM EST
Not often does Dallas, Oklahoma City and Little Rock see snow on Christmas, but Mother Nature will defy those odds this year.
Residents of Dallas, Oklahoma City and Little Rock may find it hard to believe snow is on the way with the chance of a white Christmas less than five percent in all three cities.
However, kids and those young at heart will be happy to learn that snow will indeed fall today thanks to the arrival of a strengthening winter storm and noticeably colder air. On the other hand, travelers both on the ground and in the air are likely to greet that news with jeers.
Snow from the Rockies has spread to western Kansas, western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, while severe thunderstorms and tornadoes has started erupting across southeastern Texas.
Freezing drizzle glazed Oklahoma City earlier this morning, but this afternoon is when heavier snow will fall and accumulate around 3 inches.
Snow will continue to evolve farther to the east as Christmas progresses, changing over from rain in Dallas during the afternoon and Little Rock in the evening. Around 3 inches of snow will whiten Dallas with 3-6 inches expected in Little Rock.
More than a half of a foot of snow will bury the northern and western suburbs of Little Rock.
The last time an inch or more of snow has fallen on Christmas in Little Rock as 1926 (2.5 inches).
For Oklahoma City, one has to go back to 1914 when 6.5 inches fell. The city technically had a white Christmas as recently as 2009 when 14 inches of snow was still on the ground following a Christmas Eve blizzard.
The blizzard of 2009 also brought Dallas its first measurable Christmas Eve snowfall on record.
The snow this Christmas, even down to Dallas, is sure to create severe headaches for travelers.
Roads have already become slick and treacherous across Oklahoma and northern Texas with multiple accidents forcing the closure of Interstate 40 near Oklahoma City earlier this morning.
Gusty winds howling will worsen the situation by blowing and drifting the snow around, reducing visibility for motorists.
Where the snow is preceded by rain, another danger lurks for travelers as additional icy spots and any wet or slushy areas freeze with the arrival of the cold air.
Conditions will quickly improve for travelers in and around Oklahoma on Wednesday as the potent winter storm heads northeastward toward the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast.
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