Weather Blog

Icy cold morning here; unbelievably cold in Oklahoma

Icy cold morning here; unbelievably cold in Oklahoma

While temperatures dropped into the 20s across parts of Western Washington Thursday morning, that would be some 50 degrees warmer than what some parts of the Midwest awoke to.

The town of Bartlesville, Oklahoma reported a morning low of -28 -- yes, that's Oklahoma, not Minnesota -- at their official station, which would set the all-time record low temperature for the entire state of Oklahoma. (Their previous record was -27 set in Vinita, Okla. in 1905 and Watts, Okla. in 1930.) NOAA says they have to inspect the equipment to make sure it's in proper working order so at this point the record is preliminary.

But! There is a second contender. A non-FAA station in Nowata, Okla. reported a temperature of -30.5 degrees. NOAA is checking that one too. Suffice to say, there is pretty good evidence that Oklahoma has a new state record and Vinita and Watts are going to have try harder to get back into the books.

Back home, it was a bit chilly here too. Enough to freeze a bird bath into some interesting ice spikes.

These photos were taken in Mount Vernon by Tobin Findley. We saw a somewhat similar formation in early January in Lake City.

The surface of the of water freezes first, sealing in the water below. As that water begins to freeze, it expands, creating higher pressure under the ice lid. Eventually, the pressure will either cause a small crack or opening in the ice where water will start to dribble out -- sort of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste.

However, as that water squeezes out to the surface, it too freezes. The pattern repeats until this refreezing process.

Here is another photo:

While we'll warm up briefly around here this week, it's nothing like the warm up about to occur to in Oklahoma where by mid week, it'll be about 90 degrees warmer -- with high temperatures in the low-mid 60s.