13 Jul Does Tulsa Oklahoma Get Snow? Read Before You Move
What You Should Know About Snow in Tulsa, OK
Looking to relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma? What an exciting move! You’re in for the luxuries of a big city with the comfort and feel of a small town. The people are great, there’s plenty to do and see, and it’s a great place to raise a family. Now, before you make the move, here is everything you need to know and be prepared for regarding the weather in Tulsa.
Does it snow in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Yes, Tulsa Oklahoma gets snow. Tulsa is located in the northeastern part of Oklahoma – which is right, smack-dab in the middle of the U.S. This means that Tulsa gets all the different kinds of weather – snow, ice, tornadoes, heat, rain, wind, and everything in between. The saying goes “if you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes and it’ll change.”
Snow in Tulsa is a little bit different than other places, meaning we either get a lot at one time, we don’t get much at all, or we get ice – and ice means trouble. The good news is though, whatever weather we do get doesn’t stick around for very long and you’re back to “normal” in no time.
Let’s talk more specifics about what to expect from the weather in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Location in the U.S. & Typical Weather Climate
According to the census and government, Oklahoma is officially part of the South, more specifically the West South Central Region of the U.S. Often confused as part of the midwest, Oklahoma experiences the best and worst of both worlds. What this means is that the summer is hot and humid as can be, the fall is short and sweet, the winter is a guessing game, and the spring is tornado season.
Tulsa is located in the northeast corner of the state with the Arkansas River flowing through the middle of the city. This is important because when weather hits, it often splits down each side of the river. Now, with the few years of weather data that has been collected, here is a review of what each season typically looks like in Tulsa:
Summer in Tulsa
June-September with temperatures ranging from 85 to 100-110; sometimes rainy with late evening thunderstorms; often high humidity and winds ranging from 10mph to 20mph.
Fall in Tulsa
September-November with temperatures ranging from 45 to 75; mostly clear but can experience early frosts; wind typically ranges from 5mph to 15mph.
Winter in Tulsa
November-March with temperatures ranging from 25 to 60; some freezing rain, ice, and snow possible; wind can be anywhere from 10mph to 35mph. Luckily, there are plenty of fun cold-weather activities to enjoy during these winter months.
Spring in Tulsa
March-May with temperatures ranging from 45 to 85; often rain showers with occasional thunderstorms, high winds from 15mph to 35mph, tornadoes possible in the evenings as well as hail.
Though these collections are considered to be “typical or average” – there can always be surprises when it comes to weather in Oklahoma.
Tulsa, Oklahoma – Typical Winter Weather
Though a typical winter season in Tulsa is considered to be between November and the end of February/beginning of March – there have been frosts as early as the beginning of October and as late as the middle of April. As you can see, it’s quite the guessing game, and if you’re a fan of a white Christmas – don’t get too excited.
Even though it can be bitterly cold, mostly from the sharp north wind coming down the plains, snow doesn’t usually arrive until late January and early February.
What is more typical is a few really cold days with snow on the way, an inch of snow overnight, and then a warm few days afterward that melts it all away immediately.
Tulsa, Oklahoma is different from other areas of the country when it comes to snow. What is most common for our city/state is ice with a light blanket of snow on top, if we’re lucky. Oklahoma and the northern parts of Texas are used to this type of wintery mix, which is the kind that can be dangerous and very hard to plan for.
It’s not all bad, though! Because of the type of weather we may experience, school cancellations happen more often than they would in the north, and there are lots of good hills for sledding.
Why Are Tulsa Winters Different Than Most?
School cancellations and more ice than snow are what make winters in Oklahoma different than winters in the northeast. When buildings and roads are constructed up north, they are created with the harsh winters in mind – with ample heating, ease of driving snow plows, protected pipes, etc. In Oklahoma, buildings and roads are constructed more with summer in mind – preparation for extreme heat (air conditioning, potential cement cracking, heat waves, etc.)
How to Survive the Winter in Tulsa, Oklahoma
So, how do you survive winter in Tulsa, Oklahoma? Here’s what you should do:
- Salt the roads/sidewalks: because ice is more likely than snow, cities will prepare the roads and businesses the sidewalks with salt and sand – it helps the ice to not stick to the road as much and prevents both cars from sliding on the road and people from falling on the sidewalk.
- Run the water/taps: frozen pipes are a huge headache, can cause a lot of damage, and cost a lot of money. If the weatherman tells you a storm is coming in, it’s always a good idea to turn the tap on and let it drip, as well as remove any outside hoses. This ensures that any water in the pipes will be running and not freezing – which can cause the pipes to burst and leaks to happen.
- Collect firewood: many residences in Oklahoma have wood-burning fireplaces – be prepared to use yours! Make sure you have enough dry firewood on hand because sometimes, power outages happen when power lines freeze and a fireplace will help keep you warm until it comes back on.
- Supply your car: traveling with ice on the roads can be very dangerous, so it’s always a good idea to drive prepared. Put blankets, gloves, ice scrapers, and water in your car – that way if something happens, you’ll be able to stay warm until help arrives.
- Trim your trees: when power lines freeze, trees do too and limbs can break – sometimes onto your roof. Tree damage is common throughout Oklahoma if an ice storm hits so it’s important to keep them trimmed away from any power lines and away from your house.
What Makes Winter So Different in Tulsa, Oklahoma?
As was mentioned earlier, cities in the northeast are designed and prepared with the harsh winter weather in mind – Oklahoma and the south are designed and prepared with the harsh summer weather in mind.
This is why school cancellations, traffic incidents, power outages, etc. are all more prevalent in the south during the winter than they are in the northeast.
All this to say, that yes, Tulsa does receive snow, and it can be dangerous sometimes – but, it’s also mild more often than not and whatever we do receive, doesn’t usually stick for very long. If you make the move to Tulsa, you won’t regret it and you’ll get to experience all the different types of weather!
Are you still uncertain about relocating to our great city? Here are 10 reasons you should move to Tulsa!