This has been a bizarre, historic, record breaking winter for sure. Between the snow and the temperatures, it's a winter many of us will never forget. And what makes this winter even more bizarre is that it was suppose to be mild and dry due to the La Nina effect.
Let's start with the snow. We've broken every record for snow except one. Here are the records we've broken:
Most snow in 24 hours: 14"
Most snow from one storm: 14"
Most snow in one month: 22.5"
Most snow in one winter: 26.1"
The only record we haven't broken yet is the most snow in one year (29.6 1958) and there's plenty of time for us to break that one. Just one more storm would probably do it.
The reason for all this snow is due to the number of storms from the northwest and west that have been meeting up with very cold air from the north. Add moisture from the Gulf of Mexico and being in the right place at the right time and you get extreme snow.
We've also had temperatures like never before. We've set records for the coldest overnight low and the coldest daytime high. But the most extreme temperatures were set the morning of February 10th. Here are some of those records:
Coldest temperature ever recorded in the state: -31 Nowata (old record -27 Vinita/Watts)
Coldest temperature for Tulsa for Feb. 10th: -12 (old record -3 1929)
The reason for all this cold is partly because of something called "radiational cooling". That's when heat escapes into the atmosphere on a clear and calm night. However, we also have bitterly cold Arctic air flowing over a thick covering of snow. Put all that together and you get extreme temperatures. It was colder here than at parts of the north and south poles.
All of this occurred during what is known as "The Dead of Winter" which runs from January 10th to February 10th and is the coldest time of the year nationwide. But there is plenty of time for more extreme weather. After all we had snow in March the last two years.
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