Weather and Climate

Weather and Climate
9:32 am
Thu October 23, 2014

University Of Oklahoma Dedicates 35,000 Square Foot, $15 Million Radar Lab

University of Oklahoma president David Boren leads a ribbon cutting Wednesday to formally open the Radar Innovations Laboratory on OU's Research Campus.
University of Oklahoma Twitter

The University of Oklahoma formally dedicated a new, 35,000 square foot Radar Innovations Laboratory Wednesday afternoon.

OU President David Boren says the goal of the facility is to spark innovation of the next generation of radar and microwave electronics.

“As academia works with the private sector, works with government to make things happen, to make the resources to be here, to be possible, what a partnership that can be," Boren said. "What a powerful partnership that can be for the future of our state, and the future of our country."

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Weather and Climate
8:00 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Skiatook Lake More Than 15 Feet Below Normal

Tall Chief Cove at Skiatook Lake in 2009, before the drought.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A lake in northeastern Oklahoma has dipped to its shallowest level since its impoundment 30 years ago.

Sara Goodeyon of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tells the Tulsa World that Skiatook Lake had a level of about 698 feet on Friday. Despite recent rains, it's more than 15 feet below normal. The last time it was above the normal level of 714 feet was more than four years ago.

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Don't Want To Wait Till 2016
5:17 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Oklahoma Wheat Farmers Want New Policy To Start Now

Credit Kevin Lallier / Flickr.com

Oklahoma wheat farmers want the U.S. Department of Agriculture to implement now a policy that's scheduled to start in 2016 that farmers say would help ease the financial pain of ongoing drought.

The policy is part of the 2014 Farm Bill.

The amount of crop insurance a farmer is eligible for depends on actual production history. Farmers who lose crops to drought several years in a row have to report lower yields, meaning their insurance coverage decreases each year.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:37 am
Tue October 7, 2014

Drought And Conservation Driving Water Contamination In Duncan

Duncan Public Works Director Scott Vaughn
Logan Layden StateImpact Oklahoma

Duncan’s water supplies are already in bad shape because of the drought. Lake Waurika — Duncan’s main water source — is only about 32 percent full, and city officials are beginning to look toward groundwater as a lake levels continue to drop.

And if it weren’t enough for water supplies to be stretched to their limits, now the water itself is contaminated.

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Weather and Climate
8:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Dry September Diminishes Drought Recovery

After four years of drought, municipal water storage in in Altus-Lugert lake has dropped to about 10 percent.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A drier than normal September has diminished drought recovery in Oklahoma, and weather experts say the dry pattern will continue through October.

Preliminary figures from the Oklahoma Mesonet show the statewide average rainfall total was 2.6 inches — 1.3 inches below normal and the 46th driest September since record-keeping began in 1895.

August and September combined for a statewide average of 3.9 inches — 2.6 inches below normal and the 22nd driest August-September period on record.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:10 am
Mon September 29, 2014

School Shelter Advocacy Group Puts Forth "Last Ditch Effort" For Signatures

David Slane and Danni Legg (center) ask the public for petition signatures as a "last ditch effort" to get a school safe room issue on a future ballot.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

A group that wants storm shelters in every Oklahoma school has spent the last 90 days gathering signatures to get its initiative petition on the ballot. Take Shelter Oklahoma is still tens of thousands of signatures short of the required amount, but  proponents now have more time than they originally thought. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon September 22, 2014

United Way Tornado Donations Rebuild Homes And Promote Physical, Mental Health

Ben and Kristen Jones stand on their empty lot that Rebuilding Together OKC is building using United Way tornado donations.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

In the wake of last year’s devastating tornadoes, millions of dollars in donations went to The United Way of Central Oklahoma. The non-profit organization also agreed to administer Governor Mary Fallin’s Oklahoma Strong tornado relief campaign. Together, the funds raised a total of $20 million. 

One week after the tornado hit the city of Moore in May of 2013, country singer Blake Shelton showed up to host a benefit concert called Healing in the Heartland.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
6:42 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Moore's Rush To Rebuild Left Hundreds Of Homes With A Lesser Building Code

The City of Moore's Shane Speegle inspects one home that is subject to the city's newer, more stringent building code.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

This March, Moore, Oklahoma became the first city in the nation to adopt a tornado-specific building code. City officials wanted homes to be able to withstand an EF-2 or EF-3 tornado.

But six months after the new regulations took effect, it turns out not all new homes built in the tornado’s path will have these upgrades.

Last week, on a block near Moore’s rebuilt Plaza Towers Elementary School, city official Shane Speegle walked through one house that had just been framed to check the progress.

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Deadline To Apply Nov. 26
1:26 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

$1.5 Million In Grant Money Available For Water Conservation Projects

Credit Vicki / Flickr.com

Oklahoma officials say $1.5 million in drought grants is available for projects that highlight the responsible use of water.

The grants are capped at $500,000 each, and the deadline for application is Nov. 26. Gov. Mary Fallin says the responsible use of water is the most effective and immediate way to prevent future water shortages in Oklahoma.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, about 85 percent of Oklahoma is experiencing some form of drought, with the driest conditions occurring in the southwest and the Panhandle.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:37 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Drought-Stricken Southwest Oklahoma Towns Look For More Water Underground

After four years of drought, municipal water storage in in Altus-Lugert lake has dropped to about 10 percent.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Water supplies in southwest Oklahoma are in danger of drying up as four years of drought drag lake levels to record lows. Some communities are scrambling to supplement their current water sources, while others look for new sources — in Texas.

Estimates say Duncan’s main water source — Lake Waurika — could be too low to use by 2016.

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