News9.com and Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY – Residents in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas awakened to chilly, wet weather while people in the Oklahoma Panhandle discovered snow on the ground Thursday morning.

The rain is expected to end sometime Thursday afternoon. News 9 Meteorologist Jed Castles said the temperatures will hold in the 40s until the rain stops, then they'll rise into the 50s.

Jed said central and southwestern Oklahoma will see the most rain, anywhere from half an inch to an inch. The rain will be slow and steady, and just what the extremely dry state needs.

"It won't be a drought buster, but it will certainly put a dent in the drought," Jed said.

Associate State Climatologist Gary McManus said Thursday it will still take between 10 to 20 inches of precipitation to bring the state out of drought.

The western and central portions of Oklahoma remained under an exceptional drought Thursday, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Most of northeastern Oklahoma remained under a severe drought, while a swath of the state between the northeast and central portions of the state was listed in an extreme drought.

Oklahoma has experienced unusually dry, hot weather since the spring, and routine triple-digit temperatures over the summer fueled dozens of wildfires, prompted burn bans and led to water rationing in some communities.

As for the snow in the panhandle, Jed says the dusting will melt away by noon.