The Woodward News

October 23, 2012

Colder weather headed this way

Gary Engel
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — The fall chill will arrive in force this weekend as a major cold front moves through the area.

"The big event for this storm is how much colder it's going to be," said KWTV-Channel 9 Staff Meteorologist Nick Bender. "We're going to see temperatures drop 40 to 50 degrees."

While daytime highs in the 80s look to continue through Wednesday, the National Weather Service-Norman forecast calls for temperatures in Northwest Oklahoma to start dropping drastically on Thursday.

After a high of 85 on Wednesday, the high for Woodward on Thursday is forecast to be in the low 60s, and the highs for Friday through Sunday will be between the upper 40s to lower 50s.  Overnight lows will approach freezing Friday and Saturday nights, according to the NWS forecast.

Due to the possible freezing conditions, officials recommend shutting off lawn sprinkler systems, rolling up water hoses, and taking steps to shelter pets and sensitive plants during the cold snap.

While this weekend's front is expected to bring much colder temperatures, it is not expected to bring much rain.

NWS puts a chance of showers at 20 percent from Thursday night through Friday night, but no major precipitation is expected with the cold front.

Bender is predicting a slightly better chance for rain at 30 percent likelihood on Thursday, but agrees that the area can expect a dry, but chilly Saturday and Sunday with partly cloudy skies.

The meager rain prediction means that the area's wildfire danger remains elevated, especially should there be gusty wind involved.

"WIth these cold fronts, comes wind," said Woodward City/County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer.

However, NWS has dropped a fire wind advisory for the far western end of the Panhandle and the northwest Texas Panhandle after Wednesday.

Nevertheless, Lehenbauer said, "We'll have all the fire departments in the county standing by, just in case."

"Drought conditions are continuing," he said. "If anyone plans to conduct a burning right now, they need to be careful."