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.

Flooding Continues, Survey Teams Assess Friday Storm Damage

Jun 1, 2013
Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Authorities in the Oklahoma City metro are discouraging travel Saturday morning due to flooding across the area.

The Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office reports flooding on NE 23rd Street Hiawassee and Choctaw Rd. and other areas in Choctaw. Multiple roads in Deer Creek are also impassable from high water.

Overnight, deputies report assisting with 10 water rescues. The sheriff's office has also called in additional workers to help with traffic and road closures. 

National Weather Service / Storm Prediction Center

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for most of Central and Eastern Oklahoma until 10 p.m.

The Storm Prediction Center in Norman warns there is a moderate risk of severe weather over much of eastern and central Oklahoma on Thursday.

“We have a very complex forecast again today,” says National Weather Service warning coordination meteorologist Rick Smith. “We do look into the atmosphere and see more ingredients in place today for supercells and tornadoes than what we saw yesterday.”

NET_EFEKT / Flickr Creative Commons

While the drought continues to ease in eastern portions of the state, it’s still raging in much of western Oklahoma, where the state’s wheat harvest is taking a hit.

The Oklahoma Grain and Feed Association recently released its estimate of this year’s wheat crop, which Oklahoma Farm Report summed up with one word: “dismal.”

Tornado Watch Issued For Most Of Oklahoma

May 29, 2013
National Weather Service / Storm Prediction Center

A Tornado Watch is in place for most of Oklahoma as a storm system is poised to make its way through the state.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service say it's important to be aware of the weather over the next three days, though it's not time to panic.

“It’s very difficult and very challenging striking a balance between freaking people and telling them what they need to be ready for,” says warning coordinating meteorologist Rick Smith with the National Weather Service’s Norman Forecast Office.

John D. Sutter, a CNN Opinion columnist and a former staff writer for The Oklahoman newspaper, walked the full 17-mile damage path from the May 20th tornado, and live-tweeted what he encountered.

National Weather Service / Norman Forecast Office

The National Weather Service says starting Tuesday evening Western and Central portions of the state could see more severe thunderstorms with the possibility of some tornadoes.

"Supercells with large hail and damaging winds are expected during the late afternoon and evening with storms likely forming into clusters or lines during the evening," says Rick Smith, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office. "The tornado potential is a little bit higher on Wednesday due to strong wind shear, but the hail and wind will still be the most common threats."

He says the focus will mainly be west of the Interstate 35 corridor on Wednesday, but could expand into Central Oklahoma the day after tomorrow.

One of the first reporters on the scene May 20 after a massive tornado struck the town of Moore, Okla., didn’t mean to be there. Joe Wertz, digital reporter for StateImpact Oklahoma, was trying to get home.

As Recovery Continues, Obama Heads To Oklahoma

May 26, 2013

President Obama is scheduled to visit the city of Moore, Okla., today, to survey the devastation left behind by by a monster EF-5 tornado.

The AP reports:

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

When huge tornadoes, like the one that hit Moore, churn, swirl and scream, most people run for cover. Then there are people like Val Castor, who jumps into his truck and heads straight towards it. Mr. Castor is the senior storm tracker for Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City. He's been covering Oklahoma's temperamental and often treacherous weather for the last 22 years. Val Castor, we had the honor of spending a little time with you in your truck a couple of years ago. Thank you for being with us today.

Tornado Recovery Resources

May 25, 2013
Mike Prendergast / SkyWatcherMedia.com

As residents in Oklahoma pick up the pieces of their lives, there are many agencies and organizations providing disaster relief. KGOU has compiled a list of resources to aid in the recovery.

(Updated June 11 at 6:17 p.m.)

City of Moore Information

The official web page for the City of Moore has information about debris removal, mail delivery, volunteer coordination and more.

Food Distribution 

New Red Cross Resource Centers

May 25, 2013

The American Red Cross is opening of three Multi-Agency Resource Centers today in Little Axe, Shawnee and Carney.

These centers will be staffed with caseworkers from the American Red Cross and partner agencies. The Red Cross says those impacted by the storms can come to these centers and meet with all agencies to get assistance with short-term needs.

Hours for the centers will be 9a to 7p.

Little Axe: Little Axe School- 2000 168th Ave NE Norman, OK

The tornado that devastated much of Moore, Okla., has drawn loads of donations from across the country: food, clothing, medical supplies, toys. Much of it is needed by the victims, but not everything.

After every disaster, relief groups usually ask for one thing: money. But writing a check or texting a donation isn't always that satisfying for those who want so desperately to help.

Friday Summary of Oklahoma Tornado News

May 24, 2013
Survivors of May's tornado look at a car damaged in the storm.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

  Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill that will allow the state to access $45 million from the state's Rainy Day Fund to help communities recover from tornado damage. Fallin on Friday signed a bill that the House and Senate passed unanimously in the wake of the deadly tornado that raked across the state on Monday, killing 24 people and injuring hundreds more. It allows the state to use the money to match federal disaster funds and for other "disaster-related assistance." The state's Rainy Day Fund, a constitutional reserve fund, currently has a balance of about $577 million. Up to 25 percent of the money can be accessed to pay for emergency-related expenses. The rest is reserved for when the state experiences budget shortfalls.

Governor Mary Fallin says Oklahoma isn't going to mandate storm shelters or safe rooms in the aftermath of the Moore tornado. The city's mayor wants to propose a city ordinance requiring all new homes to have storm shelters. But he says the city may only be able to require them for new assisted living facilities and apartment complexes.

The House and Senate on Friday, in response to the deadly twister that tore through the Oklahoma City area on Monday, passed a bill to provide tax breaks to property and vehicle owners who suffered losses from the storm. Fallin indicated she would sign the measure.

An army of insurance adjusters from across the country started to descend on Moore less 24 hours after Monday’s storm, and by Wednesday morning, a long line of them had formed outside the First Baptist Church.

Many were already in the area because of hail and tornados from earlier storms, and now they’re in destroyed neighborhoods assessing damage house by house.

This week, 15-year-old Darius Joseph found himself displaced again - the Dick family home was destroyed in the tornado on Monday.

Under cloudy skies and through intermittent showers, 4-year-old Kamrin Ramirez holds in her little hands two cards, one addressed to Ms. Patterson, the other for Ms. Johnson, her two preschool teachers at Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla.

"I write thank you so much," she says.

The tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., Monday destroyed some 12,000 homes, according to Oklahoma City Police. And for one family, it was the second house they've lost to a tornado in the past 14 years. Rena and Paul Phillips say that the recent loss won't make them move.

The Phillipses told their story to Rachel Hubbard of Oklahoma member station KOSU, who reports on how they're coping with the loss — and the search for belongings in the rubble of their home — for Thursday's All Things Considered.

There's no room at the inn for the Degmans. Not the Days Inn, anyway.

Jim and Marilyn Degman didn't suffer significant damage to their home in Monday's storm, but they lost power and decided to seek shelter elsewhere. They tried two other places before they found a La Quinta Inn & Suites that would admit Angel Baby, their toy poodle.

"I think she's a little more traumatized than we are, because of her routine," Jim says. "She can't go to her home."

Explore The Oklahoma Tornado Damage

May 23, 2013

Use this map of before-and-after aerial imagery to explore damage from the recent Oklahoma tornado — one of the most destructive storms ever recorded.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Storms, Flooding Slowing Tornado Recovery

May 23, 2013
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

A band of thunderstorms is battering the Oklahoma City area and slowing cleanup operations in the southern suburb where a tornado killed 24 people and destroyed thousands of homes earlier this week.

The National Weather Service said Thursday that the storms are producing hail, heavy rain and high winds. A flash flood warning is also in effect for some areas.

The Weather Service says more severe storms are forecast for late afternoon and at night. It says tornados are a possibility.

Pages