KGOU

Weather and Climate

Weather in Oklahoma can be extreme and dangerous. KGOU is committed to providing resources for being aware of the potential for weather events, continuous coverage when severe weather strikes, and a big-picture view of weather trends and topics.

Our partners in weather coverage are the National Weather Service for forecasts, experts at the National Weather Center, located at the campus of the University of Oklahoma, retired television weatherman and now OU's Consulting Meteorologist-in-Residence Gary England, and for severe weather outbreaks, KOCO-TV's live continuous coverage.

A new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine places the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria at 4,645. That’s far higher than the government’s official count: 64 people. The report, done by researchers at Harvard, follows other studies and reports that said over 1,000 people died.

A fence in a field near Hooker, Oklahoma on May 12, 2018.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Last month was the hottest May on record in Oklahoma. Preliminary data from the Mesonet indicates May finished with a statewide average of 74.6 degrees. That breaks the previous record of 74 degrees, which was set in May 1962.

National Weather Service

Marvin Haworth walks through a house frame that’s under construction in the Seiter Farms development in Moore, Oklahoma.

“You see these hurricane clips right there? You see one at every rafter in the house. They’re all tied to the wall, so that rafter cannot be pulled loose from the wall,” Haworth says as he points toward the connection between the frame’s walls and roof.

Architect Gary Armbruster of MA+ Architecture designed Canadian Valley Technology Center's new campus in El Reno.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Preschool students run tiny hands through a plastic tub of little blue beads that look like fish. They then scurry across the room to sing “The wheels on the bus” with their classmates.

It’s a bright, colorful, happy room here at the Canadian Valley Technical Center’s Child Development Center in El Reno, Oklahoma. And just a few steps down the hall, child care director Barbi Slimp opens the door to another room that’s just as cheerful.

Marvin Haworth stands outside a home his business is constructing in Moore, Oklahoma on May 14, 2018.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Marvin Haworth walks through a house frame that’s under construction in the Seiter Farms development in Moore, Oklahoma.

“You see these hurricane clips right there? You see one at every rafter in the house. They’re all tied to the wall, so that rafter cannot be pulled loose from the wall,” Haworth says as he points toward the connection between the frame’s walls and roof.

National Weather Service

Severe weather is expected across much of western and central Oklahoma today, mainly in the afternoon, evening and overnight.

After one of the most destructive hurricane seasons ever, the names of four hurricanes are being retired. The World Meteorological Organization, the international body responsible for naming hurricanes, says it will no longer use Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate to name hurricanes. The organization says it retires names for hurricanes when "a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity."

José López doesn't have a deed for the little house at the edge of a dairy farm where he was raised and still lives — only the stories his grandfather told him about how the house came to be.

It began with an agreement between gentlemen 39 years ago. His grandfather, a foreman on the farm, needed a house for his recently divorced daughter, López's mother. So he asked the farm's owner if he could have a little corner of the sprawling estate to build her one.

"My grandfather worked on the farm for 44 years," López said, "and his boss was a good man. He said yes."

National Weather Service

Another round of freezing rain could add another layer of ice across Oklahoma on Thursday. It will be the third wave of freezing rain in as many days.

An international human rights group, Refugees International, has issued a scathing report on the U.S. response in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria. The group says "poor coordination and logistics on the ground" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rican government "seriously undermined the effectiveness of the aid delivery process."

Volunteer firefighters Christie Smith and David Thompson cool down after extinguishing a hotspot that flared east of Noble, Okla., in 2012. Scientists expect the risk of wildfire to increase as climate change-fueled droughts occur more frequently.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A new report from hundreds of experts and more than a dozen federal agencies is stark: Humans are likely responsible for the warmest period in modern civilization.

The consequences of this warming vary regionally, but scientists and researchers forecast significant effects in Oklahoma and other southern plains states.

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

Stormwater engineer Bill Robison snaps a photo of a flood-prone house the city is trying to buy from its homeowner.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.

Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.

Bill Robison pulls over and parks his city-issued car on a tree-lined street in east Tulsa.

National Weather Service

Four confirmed tornadoes struck Oklahoma on Saturday night, damaging a Norman casino and knocking over powerlines and trees.

An EF1 tornado hit the Riverwind Casino in Norman, where Gov. Mary Fallin was attending a Beach Boys concert. Fallin told News 9 she had to be evacuated twice, and saw torrents of rain pouring through the facility’s roof.

Riverwind Casino spokesperson Kym Koch says crews are still assessing the damage.

On Fire, Out West

Oct 12, 2017

Wildfires continue to spread in the western United States, blazing through nearly every state west of the Rockies and leaving at least 17 people dead in California.

On the side of a busy expressway in northern Puerto Rico, dozens of cars stand in a line, parked at careless angles off the shoulder. Drivers hold their phones out of car windows; couples walk along the grass raising their arm skyward.

This is not a picturesque stretch of road. It's about 90 degrees out, and the sun is beating down relentlessly. All you can hear is the rumble of cars and trucks passing by, sometimes dangerously close. Then, inside a Ford Escape near the edge of the highway, Casandra Caba exclaims, "Look!"

The Islands After Irma

Sep 13, 2017

Reports of severe devastation have been pouring in from the Caribbean since Hurricane Irma slammed into the islands last week.

Communities have been all but destroyed. Food and water are scarce. And local economies that rely on a constant flow of tourist dollars could tank.

Many parts of the United States face dual watery threats. First, giant storms like Harvey, which has dropped nine trillion gallons of water on Texas (enough to cover the lower 48 states with a puddle as deep as the height of three pennies).

National Weather Service

Two rounds of potentially severe weather could hit northwestern and central Oklahoma this afternoon and evening.

 

Meteorologist Gary England.
Dick Pryor / KGOU

The vast majority of Oklahoma’s tornadoes occur in the spring. Since 1950, approximately 69 percent of the state’s tornadoes have formed in March, April and May, according to the National Weather Service. However, a “secondary storm season” arrives in the autumn, especially in the months of September and October.

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