Another winter storm has set its sights on Oklahoma, but forecasters believe its impact won't be as devastating as last weekend's massive ice storm.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for 32 counties in western, northern and central Oklahoma for Friday and Saturday. Snow is forecasted to develop in northwestern Oklahoma on Friday, while the Altus area and central sections of the state could see a mixture of rain and snow before it changes over to all snow Friday night, the weather service has predicted.
Up to 4 inches are possible locally.
Altus has been fortunate in missing much of the ice that has plagued central Oklahoma, but the Street Department is prepared for inclement weather. Ramiro Martinez, Assistant Street Commissioner, stated that the Street Department has put rock down and has made the decision to leave it for a few days in case Altus gets additional ice. This is a cost-saving decision. Rock is put down first, so that vehicles can get some traction even if freezing percipatation covers the rock. Once ice is on the street, corners are sanded down for additional traction. In case of severe weather, all available crew will be called in for emergency duty.
The storm could affect utility crews' efforts to restore electricity to the hundreds of thousands of residents across the state who haven't had power since the beginning of the week.
A slight warming trend expected on Thursday should help thaw things out some more.
Skies should be partly cloudy on Thursday, with temperatures reaching the 40s and 50s before falling into the 20s and 30s overnight.
The clouds are forecast to return on Friday, with a chance of rain or light snow in Southwest Oklahoma.