Oklahoma City area residents got to enjoy some winter scenery Tuesday without experiencing many of the problems that usually accompany snow.
Temperatures holding just above freezing and warmer ground temperatures kept streets and sidewalks in central Oklahoma free of any meaningful snow accumulations that could have made it tricky for drivers throughout much of the day.
Pedestrians' biggest issues involved avoiding stepping in curbside puddles as they used umbrellas to stay dry as a snow/rain mix steadily fell throughout much of the day.
Experiments, experiences led to emergency responder preparedness as snow arrived
Tuesday's storm gave Oklahoma City an opportunity to check out how its use of a beet juice-based brine solution on 11 key bridges within the community might prevent them from icing over, making them safer for drivers to negotiate.
By Tuesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the city's public works department said they wouldn't have a firm handle on how well it worked until after the storm had passed.
Shannon Cox, the department's public information officer, said the city was operating its normal fleet of 25 trucks to treat city snow routes during winter weather events.
By mid-afternoon, she said it appeared a majority of streets across the community were just wet.
"I haven't heard any updates" that roads were hazardous across any part of Oklahoma City's more than 620 square miles, Cox said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said it had a typical Tuesday contingent of troopers in the field.
But Trooper Eric Foster said the agency did deploy those personnel in key locations so they could respond to known trouble spots observed during past inclement weather events more quickly.
"We kind of know where incidents will happen at higher frequencies, so we position our troopers differently."
The most noticeable impact from Tuesday's storm observed so far by troopers through the middle of the afternoon was reduced visibility levels in far-west Oklahoma, where the heaviest amounts of snow had fallen.
Only roads in Roger Mills and Beckham County were classified as being severely affected by snow Tuesday afternoon. However, no interstates or highways were closed, a road conditions map maintained by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation showed.
As for crashes, Foster said troopers only had worked a handful of crashes through mid-day Tuesday, but also said it appeared roads were getting a little slicker north and west of the Oklahoma City area as the day progressed.
He said drivers needed to remember that road conditions change throughout the day, and warned them against being too overconfident.
"It only takes one little spot to cause a wreck when 90% of the roadway looks fine," he said.
As for Oklahoma City police, they reported normal traffic conditions Tuesday afternoon.
"It is just wet roads," a spokesperson said.
And EMSA's public information officer reported Tuesday afternoon normal operating conditions.
"We are staffed and fully equipped to respond to whatever Mother Nature brings our way," spokesman Adam Paluka said.
Warm-up expected before temperatures cool this weekend
The National Weather Service in Norman said it expected Oklahomans to see snow showers Tuesday afternoon and perhaps some heavier snow later in the day before the storm left the area overnight.
"We have had some very, very beautiful snowfall, but the ground was just a little bit too warm for it to really stick," forecaster Alex Zwink said Tuesday. "While we ended up with wet roads, that's a lot better than the slick and icy roads we could have seen."
While temperatures will remain cool on Wednesday, Zwink said Oklahoma City area residents can expect to see warming temperatures through Saturday, before another dry cold front crosses the state.
Meanwhile, Zwink said Oklahomans should be thankful for what fell from the skies during Tuesday's storm.
"It won't be enough to rid of us any drought, but it definitely will help. Anything in that regard helps," said Zwink, who added that moisture totals from Tuesday's storm could approach a inch in some parts of central and southeastern areas of the state.
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Winter weather changes Oklahomans' perspectives without major problems