Brett's Weather Blog: This Year's Ice Storm Nothing Compared to 2007.

Merry Christmas Eve, Eve!

It's Monday night as I write this blog.  By this time Christmas Eve, most of our ice will have melted off trees, power lines, plants, road signs, statues, mailboxes and the grass. 

Whew, we had an ice storm but this could have been a whole lot worse.

PHOTO GALLERY: Ice storm leaves mess in Green Country

It was nothing like the December 2007 Ice Storm when a half a million households across Oklahoma lost power including more than 200-thousand in Tulsa. 

So why wasn't it worse? A couple reasons.

1. Temperatures -- For several days before the freezing rain started, the temperatures were well above freezing.  The morning of this year's ice storm the temperature was still 63 degrees.  When the rain started falling, much of the soil and road surface temperatures were close to 50 degrees.  So even though the air temperature was 29 degrees, nothing was freezing to the streets.  Elevated surfaces were a different story, especially trees and power lines.

2.  Winds -- The strongest winds during this year's storm occurred before the trees and power lines became over-ladened with ice.  We had a half inch of ice.  That can make tree branches and power lines weigh 30-times more than they normally would.  If there was more wind, then the lines and branches would have taken on added stress but thankfully that didn't happen. 

3. Rainfall rates -- During the 2007 ice storm there were thunderstorms which produced inch-an-hour rainfall rates.  That never happened with this storm.  It was a steady light to moderate rain, some times a drizzle, but we never had prolonged downpours.

4. Lessons Learned -- The Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) cut back several tree limbs near power lines.  When tree limbs break they can take down power lines, but if the tree limbs don't touch or cross overtop power lines, then just the tree branch comes down.

The sun will be out Tuesday, so by Christmas, the Ice storm will just a memory.

Have a great Christmas Eve.  I will blog tomorrow about the weather of Christmas-past.

Merry Christmas,



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