A highly-anticipated cold front will likely bring the first bout of wintry weather to Oklahoma starting this weekend.
During an early morning briefing Friday from the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office, meteorologist Ryan Barnes said Saturday's high temperature will likely occur during the morning hours for most locations as the cold front pushes south during the day.
"Temperatures will quickly fall into the 20s along and north of [Interstate] 44 while winter precipitation in the form of snow, sleet, and perhaps even some freezing rain and drizzle ramps up across central and northern Oklahoma,” Barnes said.
Accumulating snow will be possible Saturday afternoon and evening. Up to an inch is possible in northern Oklahoma. Barnes said there will also be gusty north winds.
"Even if snowfall amounts remain low, blowing snow will result in reduced visibility, making it difficult to see while driving,” Barnes said.
Dangerous wind child values are expected late Saturday night and into early Sunday morning - as low as 10 below zero in the Oklahoma City metro.
The coldest air in three years will be in Oklahoma on Sunday. The wind chill will be below zero.
— Brad Sowder (@KOCOBrad) December 15, 2016
Thursday night's freezing drizzle and wintry mix claimed three lives in separate automobile wrecks, and more than 100 traffic crashes were reported on Oklahoma City roadways.
Temperatures warmed overnight, melting any remaining ice on the roadways. But roads will likely be slick and hazardous this weekend.
The Oklahoma City Fire Department says crews responded to multiple wrecks, including an eight-vehicle pileup that shut down traffic on Interstate 40 in both directions near Air Depot Blvd.
— OKC Police Dept (@okcpd) December 16, 2016
— Oklahoma Turnpikes (@OKTurnpike) December 16, 2016
The Salvation Army expects to see an increase in the number of people seeking shelter this weekend. The organization says staff members are adding cots and setting up for more clients at the facility on NW 10th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. Volunteers will also be inviting people outside overnight to shelters, and have been distributing food, coats, and blankets to homeless camps around Oklahoma City.
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