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Observations

Weather Observations Associated with the
December 24, 2009 Christmas Eve Blizzard

Many surface observations sites across the area recorded some impressive wind gusts, visibility reductions, and snow rates during the blizzard. We have provided a listing of hourly, and interesting intermediate observations, for both Oklahoma City (KOKC) and Wichita Falls (KSPS) during the event below. Observations that meet blizzard criteria with both winds (35 mph frequent gusts or sustained) and visibility (1/4 mile or less) will have the "weather" cell highlighted in pink/dark pink.

Oklahoma City (OKC) - December 24, 2009
Time (CST) Temp (°F) Dew (°F) RH (%) Wind Speed (mph) Peak Gust (mph) Visibility (mi) Weather
3:52 AM 35 29 78 35 40 8 Light Rain
4:52 AM 34 29 81 30 41 5 Light Rain
5:52 AM 34 28 78 37 46 9 Light Rain
6:52 AM 33 27 78 31 47 9 Light Rain
7:52 AM 32 27 82 37 44 4 Light Freezing Rain
8:21 AM 31 27 85 35 45 1.5 Freezing Rain and Sleet
8:37 AM 31 27 85 35 51 1.5 Light Sleet and Snow
8:52 AM 31 26 82 32 54 1 Light Sleet and Snow
9:20 AM 31 26 82 31 48 0.75 Light Snow
9:52 AM 28 23 81 38 47 0.75 Light Snow
10:52 AM 26 21 81 33 41 1 Light Snow
11:20 AM 25 19 78 39 49 0.5 Snow
11:33 AM 25 19 78 39 51 0.25 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
11:52 AM 23 20 88 45 59 0.25 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
12:08 PM 24 20 84 36 48 0.06 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
12:52 PM 23 19 84 41 48 0.06 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
1:30 PM 23 19 84 43 53 0.13 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
1:52 PM 23 19 84 49 62 0.06 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
2:52 PM 23 20 88 41 54 0.06 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
3:52 PM 24 20 84 36 51 0.06 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
4:52 PM 24 20 84 33 46 0.13 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
5:52 PM 23 19 84 33 48 0.5 Snow / Blowing Snow
6:52 PM 23 19 84 38 52 0.5 Light Snow / Blwng Snow
7:52 PM 24 17 74 39 46 0.5 Blowing Snow
8:52 PM 22 15 75 32 43 1.25 Blowing Snow
9:52 PM 21 12 68 32 40 1.75 Blowing Snow
10:52 PM 21 11 64 33 44 2 Blowing Snow
11:30 PM 21 11 64 23   10 None

As you can see from the observations, Oklahoma City initially started off with rain in the early morning hours. This lasted up to around 8 AM when temperatures finally hit 32 degrees and freezing rain developed. Over the next hour, sleet gradually mixed in with the freezing rain, and then snow gradually mixed in with the sleet. By 9:20 AM, precipitation had changed over to all snow. With heavy snow and gusty winds arriving by 11:33 AM, blizzard conditions enveloped the Oklahoma City area, and would stay in place until about 5:52 PM. This means that Oklahoma City experienced about 6 hours and 19 minutes of blizzard conditions during this event. However, blowing snow continued for almost 6 additional hours after that.

Wichita Falls (SPS) - December 24, 2009
Time (CST) Temp (°F) Dew (°F) RH (%) Wind (mph) Peak Gust (mph) Visibility (mi) Weather
12:52 AM 37 34 89 7   3 Heavy Rain
1:52 AM 36 34 92 22 28 6 Light Rain
2:52 AM 35 33 92 21 25 8 Light Rain
3:52 AM 34 31 88 17   3 Heavy Rain
4:52 AM 34 31 88 23 32 6 Unknown Precipitation
5:52 AM 34 31 88 24 37 6 Moderate Rain
6:52 AM 34 31 88 21   3 Heavy Rain
7:52 AM 33 30 88 20 31 3 Heavy Rain
8:07 AM 32 30 92 23 29 1.75 Light Snow
8:19 AM 32 30 92 22   1 Light Snow
8:32 AM 32 30 92 23 31 0.5 Snow / Fog
8:52 AM 31 30 96 28 33 0.25 Heavy Snow / Freezing Fog
9:52 AM 30 28 92 29 35 0.25 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
10:52 AM 28 26 92 24 30 0.25 Heavy Snow / Freezing Fog
11:52 AM 26 24 92 29 35 0.25 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
12:52 PM 25 22 88 28 40 0.25 Heavy Snow / Blizzard
1:52 PM 25 22 88 28 49 0.5 Snow / Freezing Fog
2:52 PM 25 23 92 25 33 0.25 Heavy Snow / Freezing Fog
3:52 PM 26 23 88 21 26 0.75 Light Snow
4:22 PM 27 21 80 25 36 1 Light Snow
4:35 PM 28 21 74 33 47 1.75 Unknown Precipitation
4:52 PM 29 21 72 31 38 5 Unknown Precipitation
5:52 PM 28 19 69 28 37 8 Unknown Precipitation

Wichita Falls also initially started off in the morning with rain, before switching to snow by 8:07 AM. Unlike in Oklahoma City, Wichita Falls transitioned over from rain to snow without any mixed precipitation. These observations were taken at Sheppard Air Force Base. There was a total of 8 hours and 15 minutes of snow reported at Wichita Falls, with 3 of those hours meeting visibility and wind speed criteria for blizzard conditions. The unknown precipitation type after 4:35 PM was likely blowing snow that continued after the falling snow had stopped.


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