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.

National Weather Service

Areas of central and southeastern Oklahoma could receive between 2 and 4 inches of rain today, and the National Weather Service is forecasting hail up to the size of golf balls. Winds up to 70 miles per hour are possible.

Risk Of Overnight Storms In Central, Eastern Oklahoma

Apr 20, 2017
National Weather Service

Severe storms on Thursday night and Friday could bring hail the size of golf balls to central and eastern Oklahoma.

 

The National Weather Service is forecasting the chance of severe storms with 60 to 70 mile-per-hour winds and the chance of hail, starting on Thursday at 10 p.m.  The storms may continue until 6 a.m. on Friday. 

 

In this May 19, 2010 file photo taken near Kingfisher, Okla., storm chasers and spectator vehicles clog the road and shoulder of Highway 81.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

 

 

Storm chasers continue to have a central role in documenting tornadoes, according to a leading Oklahoma meteorologist.

Gary England told KGOU that storm chasers give forecasters and meteorologists “eyes on the ground” that radars and other technological advances cannot provide. A human in the field sends back an immediate eye witness account of what is occurring during  storm, like a wall cloud, a funnel cloud or a tornado on the ground.

National Weather Service

Severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and flash floods are possible Tuesday and Tuesday night across most of Oklahoma.

The highest risk for severe storms will be in southwestern Oklahoma, including the communities of Lawton and Altus, where the chance is greatest for isolated supercells with large hail and possible tornadoes this afternoon and evening.

As the storms move east, the main threat will be damaging wind, though large hail and tornadoes will remain possible.

A tornado in Wynnewood, Oklahoma on May 9, 2016.
J.R. Hehnly / OKStorms.com

 

Oklahomans should brace for a storm season was an above-average number of tornadoes, according to meteorologist Gary England.

England told KGOU that a weak La Niña phenomena typically leads to an active tornado season.

“There’s been a bunch of years with a weak La Niña, we had a lot of tornadoes,” England said.

A weak La Niña occurs when temperatures in the equatorial Pacific are slightly below normal.
 

A burned field in northwestern Oklahoma.
Facebook/Oklahoma Forestry Services

 

 

A massive wildfire burned more than a thousand square miles earlier this month in northwestern Oklahoma, killing one person and countless animals, torching building and forcing evacuations. And this week, a fire in eastern Oklahoma has burned at least nine homes.

Woodward Department of Civil Defense and Homeland Security

Wildfires spread across larges swaths of northwestern Oklahoma Monday, leading to evacuation warnings for several towns.

Evacuation orders were issued for the communities of Laverne, Buffalo and Fort Supply in Woodward and Payne Counties. The evacuation order in Fort Supply only applied to community members and not to the William S. Key Correctional Center, according to Matt Lehenbaur, the emergency management director for the city of Woodward.

U.S. Drought Monitor

Frigid temperatures never fully took hold in Oklahoma this winter. February saw record high temperatures, and instead of ice and snow, wildfires were the main weather-related concern, and drought — though improved — has persisted across much of the state.

In a statement summarizing February’s weather highlights and looking ahead to March, State Climatologist Gary McManus says the first two months of 2017 broke the record for the warmest combined January and February in state history.

Bambi bucket helping to gain control over this massive grass fire.
Oklahoma City Fire Department

Emergency management officials have issued an evacuation order for a Sunday afternoon wildfire that has burned 877 acres in south-southeast Oklahoma City.

The fire isolated south of Southeast 134th and Southeast 149th between Air Depot and Midwest Boulevard. The fire is moving to the south.

Oklahoma City Emergency Management is asking residents south of Southeast 149th Southeast 179th or Indian Hills Road, and from Sooner Road to Midwest Boulevard, to leave the area. Officials request people leave to the south and then go to the east or west.

National Weather Service

Areas of northwestern Oklahoma will continue to  see more freezing rain Sunday, while residents in southern and central Oklahoma may see a line of severe storms bring rainfall of up to 1.5 inches in some areas.

The National Weather Service has extended an Ice Storm Warning for northwest Oklahoma until 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening. Meteorologists say ice will continue to accumulate on trees and power lines, and surface temperatures have not risen above the freezing point.

Atoka Lake in southeast Oklahoma is in the middle of the state's most drought affected area.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

Drought is back in Oklahoma. More than half the state now falls in the extreme drought category, and normally water-rich southeast Oklahoma is bearing the brunt of a very dry fall and winter.

Tree stumps poke above Atoka Lake’s surface, and it’s easy to see where the water line used to reach. In early 2016, lake levels were high. But now, Atoka is in the bullseye of the worst of Oklahoma’s current drought. Atoka Emergency Manager Derrick Mixon says last week’s snowstorm didn’t help much.

National Weather Service

A dangerous winter storm will bear down on parts of Oklahoma and north Texas, beginning on Friday and continuing until Sunday. Significant ice accumulation is expected, which will cause dangerous travel conditions and downed trees, and the potential for power outages.

Some areas of northwestern Oklahoma, including Woodward, could receive up to one inch of ice. Parts of central Oklahoma, including the Oklahoma City metro, may receive anywhere between 0.1 to 0.25 inch of ice.

National Weather Service

A slow moving winter storm is forecast to move into Oklahoma early Friday morning and linger in the state through the weekend. The National Weather Service in Norman has issued a Winter Storm Watch which will be in effect from Friday morning until Sunday. Heavy rainfall, rain, freezing rain, and a mixture of freezing rain and rain are all expected and may disrupt travel this weekend.

National Weather Service

A winter storm that blanketed much of Oklahoma with snow during the overnight hours has led schools and businesses across the region to close for Friday.

 

The University of Oklahoma's Norman campus and Health Sciences Center campus in Oklahoma City announced they would close for the day, as well as many schools district such as Oklahoma City, Moore and Norman.

 

By 7 a.m. a cold front is expected to be well south of I-40. Temperatures will be falling into the 20s and 30s behind the front, with 50s ahead of the front across southern Oklahoma and western north Texas.
Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

A highly-anticipated cold front will likely bring the first bout of wintry weather to Oklahoma starting this weekend.

During an early morning briefing Friday from the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office, meteorologist Ryan Barnes said Saturday's high temperature will likely occur during the morning hours for most locations as the cold front pushes south during the day.

U.S. Drought Monitor

The latest map by the U.S. Drought Monitor shows two-fifths percent of Oklahoma is in moderate to severe drought, but the state's agriculture industry isn't concerned just yet.

Forecasters expect higher-than-average temperatures through November. However, a familiar pattern could spell trouble if the warm, dry conditions persist into the spring. That’s how the five-year drought started in 2011, The Journal Record’s Brian Brus reports:

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.

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