Mother Nature delays clinic groundbreaking

Nathan Thompson
Freezing rain on Tuesday caused a layer of ice to accumulate on trees outside of Pawhuska Hospital. The winter weather delayed the groundbreaking for the new Pawhuska Family Health Clinic on the hospital’s campus. Nathan Thompson/Journal-Capital

Old Man Winter and Mother Nature combined Tuesday to give Osage County some much-needed relief from the drought, but unfortunately for the staff at Pawhuska Hospital, it also delayed the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pawhuska Family Health Clinic.

With temperatures hovering just below 32 degrees, a constant rain mixed with sleet caused ice to accumulate on tree branches and grassy surfaces. Because the ice caused the tree limbs to sag and bridges to get slick, for everyone’s safety officials with Pawhuska Hospital decided to postpone the groundbreaking on the new facility to a later date.

According to the National Weather Service in Tulsa, the possibility of additional ice accumulation goes through Thursday morning.

“A shallow arctic airmass has wedged its way into northeast Oklahoma, and will continue to move southeast with time,” the National Weather Service’s statement said. “Moisture riding up and over this cold air will bring rain and thunderstorms to areas that are near or slightly below freezing at the surface, resulting in freezing rain and some icing.”

Forecasters say there is a 40 percent chance of additional freezing rain Wednesday night through early Thursday morning. Thursday afternoon temperatures are expected to rise above freezing, but will then change over to a slight chance for thunderstorms before midnight.

Rain and possibly stormy weather is forecast through Saturday with overnight temperatures in the 20s and 30s. Daytime highs are expected to be in the mid-50s by Saturday.