Weather and Climate

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is the longest continually published periodical in American history. It turns 225 years old with the 2017 edition, which is on newsstands now.

It’s filled with the usual blend of advice, recipes and nuggets of knowledge that readers have come to expect over the years.

Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson speaks with Janice Stillman, the almanac’s editor, about the milestone.

Interview Highlights: Janice Stillman

On farmer’s almanacs in general

National Weather Service

An excessive heat warning is still in effect for parts of north central and northeastern Oklahoma, and much of the state is under a heat advisory as temperatures in upper 90s continue to grip the state. Heat index values in some areas could reach as high as 113 degrees. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa could see heat indices in the triple digits.

The excessive heat warning will be in effect until 8:00 p.m. Friday evening. The heat advisory will be active until 8:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Oklahomans will face temperatures in the high 90s and heat index values near 110 degrees.
National Weather Service

Forecasters from the National Weather Service in Norman say dangerous heat will grip much of the state for the next few days. Parts of north-central and northeastern Oklahoma – including the metro areas of Oklahoma City and Tulsa - are in an excessive heat warning until 8:00 p.m. on Friday. Temperatures in the upper 90s are expected, with afternoon heat index values between 110 and 115. The entire state, except the Oklahoma Panhandle and far western counties bordering the Texas Panhandle, is under a heat advisory.

Wheat farmer Fred Schmedt stands in one of his family's fields south of Altus, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Heavy rains delayed the 2016 wheat harvest in Oklahoma, but the yield could be better than recent years. Many farmers, however, are still making up losses from a drought that climatologists warn could be returning.

It’s a hot, dry and relatively windless day south of Altus in southwest Oklahoma. Eight to 11 inches of rain has fallen in the area over the last few weeks, and Fred Schmedt is on his cell phone trying to keep large trucks and tractor-trailers off his field.

Mason Bolay on his family's farm near Perry in north-central Oklahoma.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

After one of the driest periods on record, 2015 was the wettest year ever in Oklahoma, and the rain still hasn’t let up. But scientists say climate conditions are aligning in a way that could bring drought back to the state.

Out Of Drought

Mason Bolay doesn’t have a lot of time to talk about whether he’s prepared for the next drought. He needs to finish the daily work on his family’s farm outside Perry in north-central Oklahoma before the next thunderstorm moves in.

Tornado Town, USA

May 27, 2016

Four devastating tornadoes hit Moore, Oklahoma, in 16 years. FiveThirtyEight's senior science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker investigates whether central Oklahoma's geography plays a role, or if it's simply bad luck.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Another round of severe weather could hit western and central Oklahoma this afternoon and evening.

The Storm Prediction Center has issued a Tornado Watch across all of western Oklahoma and parts of north-central Oklahoma until 10:00 p.m. tonight. Several rounds of storms are expected in the watch area today.


Meteorologist Todd Lindley with the National Weather Service in Norman says today's forecast is fluid, especially with regards to when and where storms will threaten.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Oklahoma could be in for another round of severe weather Tuesday.

A strong, tornado-warned thunderstorm that moved through Payne and Noble counties Tuesday afternoon destroyed a mobile home and downed power lines near the town of Morrison, Payne County Emergency Management Director Dave Lester said.

A tornado touches down near Wynnewood, Oklahoma on May 9, 2016.
Hayden Mahan

The Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City is bustling with activity on a sunny day as people push strollers, walk dogs and feed the ducks. It’s a gorgeous Wednesday afternoon right now, but it’s springtime in Oklahoma, so the weather can change at any time.

“When it starts raining, is when I start looking at the messages,” Devonte Thibodeax said as walked along the garden’s waterway with Michaela Schweiger.

“If my iPhone does those alerts, where it goes off, that’s when we know something is actually happening,” Schweiger said.

The sun glistens off a cross at a makeshift memorial outside Plaza Towers Elementary School which was destroyed by a tornado nearly a week ago Sunday, May 26, 2013, in Moore, Okla. Monday's huge tornado destroyed the school killing seven students.
Charlie Riedel / AP

A week ago more than half-a-dozen tornadoes struck Oklahoma. Two people were killed in southern Oklahoma, and the EF4 tornado in Wynnewood near Interstate 35 is actually the strongest twister on record in this state in three years.

Todd Lindley / Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

Two people were killed when several large, violent tornadoes moved through south-central Oklahoma Monday afternoon. One tornado destroyed several homes and left a significant trail of damage in Garvin County near the communities of Wynnewood, Roff, and Hickory.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for the western half of the state until 9 p.m.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Oklahoma saw the 7th-wettest April on record, despite kicking off 2016 with fears of a strengthening drought. Oklahoma Mesonet stations recorded a statewide average of 6.11 inches of rain last month.

State Climatologist Gary McManus says extreme and violent weather bookended the month. An uncontrollable wildfire started April 5 and hundreds of thousands of acres in Northwest Oklahoma.

“Emergency management personnel estimated damages at $2.3 million from the fire as it scorched nearly 90 square miles in Woodward and Harper counties,” McManus said.

An overturned car on Interstate 35 at Main Street in Norman Friday afternoon. All the occupants were safe.
Gabe Garfield / Twitter

Central and southern Oklahoma is in the middle of another round of severe weather, three days after small tornadoes and large hail struck Mustang, Luther, and the Tulsa area.

Updated 5:34 p.m.

The threat of tornadoes and severe weather has moved east out of the Oklahoma City metro, but flooding is now a major concern as heavy rain continues to fall across the region.

Damage at Johnson Construction in Davis, Okla. Wednesday morning. The business lost three overhead doors.
Shelly Johnson / @wall_cloud Twitter

Severe thunderstorms moved across the state Tuesday afternoon and evening, downing electrical lines, damaging some homes and businesses, and dropping large hail. No injuries have been reported.

Updated April 27, 9:07 a.m.: