Weather and Climate

A scene from 1967's "Son of Godzilla."
Toho / Sony Pictures

This year’s El Niño might be the strongest ever. The phenomenon — marked by unusually warm waters in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of South America — means more precipitation could be on the way for Oklahoma. The state’s wheat farmers are hopeful, but know too much rain at the wrong time can be ruinous.

Mike Rosen runs a grain elevator near Kingfisher. He says Oklahoma’s wheat farmers can’t seem to catch a break.

Oklahoma Mesonet

If you were late for work Thursday morning because you had to remember where you last put your jacket months ago, dig it out of the back of your closet, and brush off lint and pet dander, no one would blame you.

A strong cold front that arrived Wednesday and brought very pleasant afternoon conditions dropped temperatures to record lows early Thursday morning in Oklahoma City, Lawton, and Wichita Falls.

Thursday morning's 50-degree reading at Will Rogers World Airport shattered Oklahoma City's 65-year-old low August 20 temperature record of 56, set in 1950.

There is a slight risk of severe storms late this afternoon and tonight across parts of northern Oklahoma. Primary threats will be hail to the size of golfballs and winds up to 70 mph.
Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Northern Oklahoma could see severe weather Tuesday evening, although it's possible hail and strong straight-line wind gusts could make their way into the Metro.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the Norman Forecast Office of the National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for much of the western third of the state. That was later expanded into several counties in central Oklahoma.

OWRB water resources geologists Derrick Wagner and Jessica Correll analyze readings from their well at the Spencer Mesonet station.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Almost half of the water used by Oklahomans comes from aquifers, and four years of drought increased that reliance. This year’s record-setting rainfall filled up the state’s lakes, but recharging aquifers doesn’t happen so quickly.

Ten years ago this month Hurricane Katrina tore through New Orleans and more than a thousand people died. A quarter of a million more fled their homes, which were damaged or destroyed in the devastating floods.

A lot has changed in the past decade, but the recovery has been uneven. White residents are doing better than they were before the storm hit, while African Americans are struggling to catch up from the storm's aftermath.

Tulsa Braces For 100-Degree Weekend

Jul 23, 2015

NOAA’s National Climate Data Center reported this week that temperatures across the globe for the first six months of 2015 are the warmest on record.

While that is great for beachgoers, it also endangers millions of lives, as heat is the No. 1 weather-related killer in the United States.

One city that’s feeling the heat is Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has 100-degree temperatures forecast for the weekend.

frankieleon / Flickr

It’s coming…

Parts of the state hit 100 degrees for the first time Monday, and Oklahoma City could experience its first triple digit temperatures of 2015 on Tuesday during what’s expected to be the hottest day of the week.

The National Weather Service says a high pressure system that settled into the Southern Plains over the weekend has brought the first taste of summer-like conditions, with high humidity and hot afternoon temperatures.

Oklahoma Conservation Commission Watershed Technitian Dennis Boney inspects damage to Wildhorse 80's spillway in Garvin County.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

More than 2,000 dams in Oklahoma have protected lives and property from flooding for decades. But age is catching up with them, and many need repairs. And this spring’s record rainfall is putting dams under even more pressure.


The McClellan-Kerr Navigation System that connects the Port of Catoosa — the nation’s furthest inland seaport — to the Gulf of Mexico is “a hell of a mess” after the area got nearly 20 inches of rain in May and June, port director Bob Portiss tell’s the Tulsa World.

By the end of June, This year, Matt Plenge’s Kahoka, Mo., farm has received close to four times its normal rainfall.
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

“It seems like it rains for three or four days and after it rains, we get one day of sunshine,” Plenge said. “And then it rains again.”