Does It Snow in Oklahoma?– All the Essential Information You Must Know [Updated for 2023]

If you’re planning a trip to Oklahoma or moving there, one of the questions that may cross your mind is whether it snows in Oklahoma. Oklahoma, located in the southern part of the United States, has a varied climate known for its hot summers and mild winters. However, snowfall can still occur in Oklahoma, especially in some parts of the state. In this article, we will answer the question “Does it snow in Oklahoma?” and other related queries.

Climate in Oklahoma

Before we delve into the topic “Does it snow in Oklahoma?”, it is important to have a basic understanding of Oklahoma’s climate. The state experiences a humid subtropical climate, which is characterized by hot and humid summers and mild winters. This type of climate is typical in regions that are located near the equator or within the tropics.

In Oklahoma, the summers are typically quite hot, with temperatures ranging from 80°F to 100°F (27°C to 38°C) during the month of July, which is considered the hottest month of the year. These high temperatures can be attributed to the fact that the state is located in the southern part of the United States and is also influenced by warm tropical air masses.

During the winter months, however, temperatures tend to be milder, with an average temperature range of 21°F to 47°F (-6°C to 8°C) across different regions of the state in January, which is considered the coldest month of the year. The mildness of the winter season can be partly attributed to the fact that Oklahoma is located in the southern part of the Great Plains region of North America, which experiences less severe winter weather compared to other parts of the continent.

Overall, Oklahoma’s climate is characterized by a wide variation in temperature between the summer and winter seasons, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. While the state may experience some extreme weather events such as tornadoes and thunderstorms, its overall climate is generally conducive to outdoor activities and makes it an attractive place to live for people who enjoy warm weather.

Does It Snow in Oklahoma?

Yes, it does snow in Oklahoma. The amount of snow that falls in Oklahoma varies depending on the location. The panhandle and northwest regions of the state tend to get more snow than the central and southern regions. Oklahoma City averages about 6-8 inches of snow per year, while Tulsa averages about 4-6 inches per year. The heaviest snow in Oklahoma typically falls in January and February.

Does It Snow in Oklahoma

Here is a breakdown of average Oklahoma Snowfall by region:

  • Panhandle: 20-30 inches per year
  • Northwest: 12-20 inches per year
  • Central: 6-8 inches per year
  • Southwest: 4-6 inches per year
  • Southeast: 2-4 inches per year

It is important to note that these are just averages, and the amount of snow that falls in any given year can vary significantly. For example, Oklahoma City received 25 inches of snow in January 2021, but only 1 inch of snow in January 2022.

If you are planning to travel to Oklahoma during the winter, it is a good idea to check the weather forecast ahead of time and be prepared for the possibility of snow.

When Does It Snow in Oklahoma?

Snow occurs almost every winter in Oklahoma, with the normal seasonal snowfall being 7.6 inches (19.3 cm). The peak months for snowfall are December, January, and February. However, it is possible to see snow in Oklahoma as early as October and as late as April.

The amount of snow that falls in Oklahoma varies depending on the location. The Panhandle region of Oklahoma is the most likely to receive heavy snow, with an average of 12 inches of snow per year. The southern and eastern parts of the state are less likely to see snow, with an average of 4 inches of snow per year.

The amount of snow that falls in Oklahoma also depends on the weather patterns. A storm system that brings cold air from the north is more likely to produce snow than a storm system that brings warm air from the south.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of when it snows in Oklahoma:

  • October: Snow is possible in Oklahoma in October, but it is not common. The earliest snowfall on record in Oklahoma was October 26, 1948.
  • November: Snow is more likely in Oklahoma in November. The average date for the first Oklahoma Snowfall is November 15.
  • December: Snow is common in Oklahoma in December. The average snowfall for the month of December is 4 inches.
  • January: January is the snowiest month of the year in Oklahoma. The average snowfall for the month of January is 6 inches.
  • February: February is the second snowiest month of the year in Oklahoma. The average snowfall for the month of February is 5 inches.
  • March: Snow is still possible in Oklahoma in March, but it is less likely than in the previous months. The average snowfall for the month of March is 3 inches.
  • April: Snow is very rare in Oklahoma in April. The latest snowfall on record in Oklahoma was April 25, 2018.

It is important to note that these are just averages. The amount of snow that falls in Oklahoma can vary greatly from year to year.

What part of Oklahoma has snow?

The part of Oklahoma that has the most snow is the Oklahoma Panhandle, especially the western Panhandle. This area averages 20-30 inches of snow per year. The next snowiest areas are the northwestern and north-central parts of the state, which average 12-18 inches of snow per year. The central and southern parts of Oklahoma average 6-12 inches of snow per year, and the southeastern part of the state averages 3-6 inches of snow per year.

Here is a table showing the average annual snowfall for each region of Oklahoma:

Region Average Annual Snowfall (inches)
Oklahoma Panhandle 20-30
Northwestern Oklahoma 12-18
North-central Oklahoma 12-18
Central Oklahoma 6-12
Southeastern Oklahoma 3-6

It is important to note that these are just averages, and the actual amount of snow that falls in any given year can vary greatly. For example, the Oklahoma Panhandle received a record 56 inches of snow in 1947-48, while the southeastern part of the state received no snow at all in 1998-99.

Factors Affecting Oklahoma Snowfall

The amount of Oklahoma Snowfall varies greatly from year to year and from region to region. The following are some of the factors that affect Oklahoma Snowfall:

  • Elevation: Snowfall is more likely in areas with higher elevations. This is because the air is cooler at higher altitudes, which makes it more likely that water vapor will condense and form snow. For example, the Oklahoma Panhandle, which is located at a higher elevation than the rest of the state, receives an average of 17.9 inches of snow annually. In contrast, the southeastern part of the state, which is located at a lower elevation, receives an average of only 6.1 inches of snow annually.
  • La Nina: La Nina is a climate pattern that occurs when the sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean are cooler than average. La Nina winters tend to be colder and snowier than average in Oklahoma. For example, the winter of 2010-2011 was a La Nina winter, and Oklahoma experienced record snowfall during that time.
  • The jet stream: The jet stream is a band of strong winds that flows high in the atmosphere. The jet stream often brings cold air from the north into Oklahoma. When the jet stream is strong and located near Oklahoma, it is more likely to produce snowfall.
  • The amount of moisture in the air: Snow requires moisture in the air in order to form. If the air is too dry, snow will not be able to form. The amount of moisture in the air is affected by factors such as the proximity of water bodies, the amount of vegetation, and the amount of rainfall or snowfall that has occurred recently.

In addition to these factors, there are a number of other factors that can affect Oklahoma Snowfall, such as the presence of mountains or hills, the direction of the wind, and the amount of cloud cover.

Effects of Oklahoma Snowfall

Oklahoma is not known for its heavy snowfall, but it does snow occasionally, especially in the northern and western parts of the state. The average annual Oklahoma Snowfall is about 6 inches, but some years can see much more snow.

Heavy snowfall can have a significant impact on life in Oklahoma. Here are some of the potential effects of Oklahoma Snowfall:

  • Travel disruptions: Snow can make roads impassable, leading to school and work closures, flight cancellations, and delays in deliveries.
  • Power outages: Heavy snow can weigh down power lines and trees, leading to power outages.
  • Damage to property: Snow can cause roofs to collapse and knock down trees and power lines.
  • Increased risk of accidents: Snow can make driving and walking more hazardous, leading to an increased risk of accidents.
  • Frostbite and hypothermia: Exposure to cold weather can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, which can be life-threatening.

Freezing Days in Oklahoma

Freezing days in Oklahoma are days when the temperature drops below 32°F (0°C). The average first freezing day in Oklahoma is November 25th, and the average last freezing day is February 23rd. However, these dates are just averages, and the actual dates of freezing days can vary from year to year.

The number of freezing days in Oklahoma can also vary depending on the location. For example, freezing days are more common in the northern part of the state than in the southern part. In general, Oklahoma can expect to have about 30-40 freezing days per year.

What Activities Can You Enjoy During a Snowy Day in Oklahoma

Here are some activities you can enjoy during a snowy day in Oklahoma:

  • Go sledding or snow tubing. There are many hills in Oklahoma that are perfect for sledding or snow tubing. Some popular spots include Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City, Skiatook Ski Area, and Quartz Mountain State Park. [Image of Sledding in Oklahoma] [Image of Snow tubing in Oklahoma]
  • Go ice skating. There are several indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks in Oklahoma. Some popular spots include the Devon Ice Rink in Oklahoma City, the Edmond Ice Rink, and the Tulsa Zoo. [Image of Ice skating in Oklahoma]
  • Go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. There are many trails in Oklahoma that are perfect for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Some popular spots include the Oklahoma City National Arboretum, the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge, and the Chickasaw National Recreation Area. [Image of Snowshoeing in Oklahoma] [Image of Cross-country skiing in Oklahoma]
  • Go bird watching. Oklahoma is home to many species of birds that migrate south for the winter. Some popular spots for bird watching include the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge, the Arcadia Lake Wildlife Refuge, and the Quartz Mountain State Park. [Image of Bird watching in Oklahoma]
  • Visit a winter festival. There are many winter festivals held in Oklahoma each year. Some popular festivals include the Winterfest in Tulsa, the Christmas in the Park in Elk City, and the Living Nativity in Claremore. [Image of Winter festival in Oklahoma]
  • Stay in and relax. If you’re not feeling up to braving the cold, there’s nothing wrong with staying in and relaxing. Curl up with a good book, watch a movie, or take a nap.

No matter what you choose to do, make sure to dress warmly and stay safe. Oklahoma winters can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to be prepared.

Comparing Oklahoma Snowfall to Other States

Oklahoma is not known for its heavy snowfall. The average annual Oklahoma Snowfall is about 8 inches, with the heaviest snowfall occurring in the Panhandle region. For comparison, the average annual snowfall in the following states is:

  • Minnesota: 46 inches
  • Wisconsin: 44 inches
  • Michigan: 38 inches
  • New York: 36 inches
  • Pennsylvania: 34 inches
  • Colorado: 30 inches
  • Illinois: 28 inches
  • Iowa: 27 inches
  • Missouri: 26 inches
  • Nebraska: 25 inches
  • Kansas: 24 inches

As you can see, Oklahoma gets significantly less snow than most other states in the Midwest and Northeast. However, it is important to note that snowfall can vary greatly from year to year, even within the same state. For example, Oklahoma City received a record snowfall of 28 inches in 1977, while it received only 2 inches of snow in 2020.

Here are some other things to keep in mind when comparing Oklahoma Snowfall to other states:

  • Oklahoma is located in a semi-arid climate, which means that it receives less precipitation overall than many other states.
  • The elevation of Oklahoma is relatively low, which also contributes to its lower snowfall totals.
  • Oklahoma is located in the path of the Rocky Mountains, which can block some of the moisture from reaching the state.

Overall, Oklahoma is not a state that is known for its heavy snowfall. However, it is not unheard of for the state to receive significant snowfall, especially in the Panhandle region.

Read related article about “Does it Snow in Missouri?“.

Does it snow in Oklahoma FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about “Does it snow in Oklahoma?

Q. How much snow does Oklahoma get in a year?

The average annual snowfall in Oklahoma is about 7 inches. However, some areas of the state can get much more snow than this. For example, the panhandle averages about 12 inches of snow per year, while the southeastern region averages only about 3 inches.

Q. Does the snow stay on the ground in Oklahoma?

The amount of time that snow stays on the ground in Oklahoma varies depending on the location and the amount of snow that falls. In general, snow doesn’t stay on the ground for very long in Oklahoma. In the panhandle, snow can sometimes stay on the ground for several weeks, but in the southeastern region, it may only last a few days.

Q. How can I stay safe during a snowstorm in Oklahoma?

Here are some tips for staying safe during a snowstorm in Oklahoma:

  • Stay informed about the weather forecast.
  • Make sure you have a plan in place in case of a power outage.
  • Have a stocked emergency kit that includes food, water, first-aid supplies, and a flashlight.
  • Drive slowly and carefully in snow-covered conditions.
  • Avoid walking or biking in areas with icy sidewalks or roads.
  • Before heading out, make sure to check the weather forecast.

Conclusion

In this article, we provide comprehensive answers to the question “Does it snow in Oklahoma?” and what activities can you enjoy during a snowy day in Oklahoma. We also compare the average annual snowfall in Oklahoma to other states in the Midwest and Northeast. Finally, we provided some tips on how to stay safe during a snowstorm in Oklahoma. So, if you’re looking for an adventure or just want to relax inside while it’s snowy outside, there are plenty of enjoyable things to do in Oklahoma on a snowy day. 

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