Weather and Climate

Drought
1:48 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Could Limiting Evaporation Help With Drought?

Water levels have dropped at Lake Travis because the drought, May 16, 2011. (Lower Colorado River Authority)

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 2:06 pm

Most of the southwestern U.S. is in the midst of some level of drought. Parts of California, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas are all seeing extreme drought, as rainfall and winter snowpacks have been far below average.

One of the biggest factors affecting water supplies in these hot, dry places is evaporation. Reservoirs can lose as much water to evaporation as the water that’s actually pumped out of them for drinking water.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Group Hires Ex-Convicts To Rebuild Oklahoma After 2013 Tornadoes

Reuben Ramirez cuts wood for trusses at the Habitat for Humanity offices in Oklahoma City.
Kate Carlton Greer Oklahoma Tornado Project

Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates in the country. Each year, the state releases roughly 8,000 people from prison, and many of them are looking for work. One organization now hires ex-offenders to help rebuild and restore tornado-struck towns. 

When Reuben Ramirez was released from prison three months ago, it was hard for him to adjust. Ramirez spent a total of seven years behind bars, so getting used to the outside world wasn’t always easy.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Joplin Works Toward Tornado Preparedness After 2011 Tornado

Con-way Truckload installed six of these Atlas Safe Rooms for employees around the property after the Joplin tornado.
Credit Gail Banzet-Ellis

As we pass the one-year anniversary of the devastating tornado that hit Moore, Oklahoma, we’re looking at lessons learned from another devastating storm, three years ago in Joplin, Missouri. 

Joplin’s EF-5 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 500 businesses, but since that time, the city has made remarkable progress getting back on its feet. Recovery has included planning for the unexpected. 

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Twin Tornadoes In Nebraska Leave 2 Dead, Others In Hospital

A still image from a video shows two tornadoes approaching Pilger, Neb., Monday. The National Weather Service said at least two people died in the large storm that hit northeast Nebraska.
StormChasingVideo.com AP

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 10:11 am

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Joplin Businesses Bounce Back After 2011 Tornado

Liliya Moos sews on a wedding dress in the alterations shop she and her husband own and rebuilt on Main Street in Joplin.
Credit Gail Banzet-Ellis

Listen to the radio story.

When a tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma in May of last year, residential neighborhoods bore the brunt of the damage. But it was a different story in Joplin, Missouri, after an EF-5 tornado damaged or destroyed more than 500 businesses back in 2011.

Three years later, more than 90% of those businesses have returned to write a new chapter in Joplin’s story. 

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:08 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Weakening Drought And Industry Trends Raise Hopes For Cattle Herd Rebound

Cows Graze in Kay County, Okla.
Credit fireboat895 / Flickr Creative Commons

With drought in retreat — at least for the moment — the U.S. cattle herd, which has been severely damaged by shrinking water supplies and withering grazing land in the face of rising demand, might begin to trend back up.

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Drought
5:29 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Oklahoma Drought Conditions Lessen

U.S. Drought Monitor - Oklahoma 6/10/2014
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

A new report says drought conditions are improving in Oklahoma, though more than half of the state remains in extreme or exceptional drought.

New data from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows that 17 percent of Oklahoma is in exceptional drought — the most severe classification of drought. That's down from 21 percent a week ago.

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Her Animals Hide During Earthquakes
8:48 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Meet 'The Digger:' How One Texas Mom Helps Others Find Answers About Quakes

Barbara Brown says her horse runs into his pen when an earthquake strikes in Reno, Texas.

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:57 am

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Wheat Harvest One Of The Worst In Recent Memory
8:18 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Drought Hammers Winter Wheat Across The Plains

Farmer Jim Haarberg of Imperial, Nebraska compares the heads of wheat from two different stalks to demonstrate the stunting effects of drought.
Credit Ariana Brocious / Harvest Public Media

Much of the Midwest and the Plains have been battling drought for years. And the current winter wheat crop looks like it will be one of the worst in recent memory, stressing farmers in the heart of the Wheat Belt – from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In Nebraska, a full quarter of the winter wheat crop is rated poor to very poor, and Nebraska farmers are doing comparatively well. More than 40 percent of the wheat acres in Colorado are poor or worse; nearly 60 percent in Kansas and Texas; and an incredible 80 percent in Oklahoma.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:42 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Oklahoma School Shelter Advocates Launch New, Slightly Different Petition

Civil rights icon the Rev. Jesse Jackson told parents and storm shelter supporters Wednesday protecting students from destructive tornados is "a moral obligation."
Kate Carlton Greer The Oklahoma Tornado Project

For the past nine months, school shelter supporters have fought to get a $500 million dollar bond issue to fund safe room construction on a statewide ballot. Attorney General Scott Pruitt revised the original proposal, adding what Take Shelter Oklahoma called “biased” and “unfair” language.

But the advocacy group announced a new version Wednesday.

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