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It’s Christmas Eve and creatures are stirring because of a winter storm. As most of you are aware, we are in a Winter Storm Watch from midnight tonight thru Christmas Day. As some of you have seen on TV weather maps and even maps from the NWS, they have areas outlined for different precipitation amounts. This said, I always state that lines on any map are relative so remember that they will change several times throughout the day and night as the storm approaches and moves thru the area tonight and tomorrow. Winter storm tracks are normally difficult to determine but as they waver, they can cause big changes in areas that might not be as prepared as others. You need to stay in contact with the NWS Enhanced page at the following address throughout this timeframe. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/

As it looks right now at 8 am here in Enid, our region here in Northern Oklahoma looks to receive about 2 to 5 inches of snow. Again, if the storm track wavers it might be more or less. Here in a caps headline, pay close attention: THE MAIN THREATS WITH THIS WINTER STORM ISN’T THE AMOUNT OF SNOWFALL, ITS THE WIND AND WIND CHILL!!  This system is bringing very cold air with it and winds from 25-45 mph and possibly higher gusts will make being outside extremely dangerous.

Overnight lows tonight are forecast to be in the teens with winds 15-25 mph and higher gusts. The high on Christmas day will be around 20 or so with north winds 20-30 mph and gusts to 40 or so. Mix all of this with snow and blowing snow, we could end up with extremely low visibilities and wind chills near zero. Skin will freeze in a matter of minutes with these types of temps and wind. Travel is being discouraged tomorrow so if you have to travel, leave today and I wouldn’t make plans to come back tomorrow unless conditions in your area will allow for safe travel.

If you take the risk and travel, don’t leave without a FULL tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone, and all the basic things you would need to stay warm and nourished in the event you get stranded. Remember, if you get stranded and call for help, it will take us awhile to get to you so keep this in mind. Hopefully, most everyone will stay in and enjoy the company of family and friends and not travel. This may seem like no big deal to many but there are those that state it’s no problem and they will be ok and then something does happen and we are dispatched out to find you and bring you to safety.

Finally, stay home, stay warm and enjoy the snowfall.  We will be sending NIXLE, Viaradio and other warning systems alerts as needed.

Feel free to pass this information along to others so they understand how dangerous conditions may get.

Will advise as needed. If you have questions, just give us a call.

Merry Christmas!!

Mike Honigsberg, Certified Director

Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management
E.O.C. 580-249-5969
Personal Cell–580-541-1263
Blackberry- mhonigsberg@pioneer.blackberry.com
Twitter- @garfieldem
Facebook-Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management
Web Site– www.gcem.org
Web Site– www.enid.org