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.

Jamin Yeager / Aerial Oklahoma

Stunning visual images have emerged that show a side-by-side comparison of the areas of Moore hardest hit by Monday’s tornado. Follow this link to see an interactive spatial scrawl.

“I've flown over that corridor dozens of times and shoot Southeast 19th Street and Interstate 35 regularly as it's a prime development location,” says photographer Jamin Yeager with Aerial Oklahoma. On Tuesday, he says “we waited for the weather to clear and got airborne by 3:45.”

The pictures show the hardest hit areas between SW 4th and 19th Streets just west of I-35. The entire neighborhood behind the Warren Theatre was flattened, and there’s a noticeable brown tint caused by mud and debris along the tornado’s path.

"Albert Ashwood, director of the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said Tuesday there were no safe rooms in the two schools leveled by the tornado. Speaking at a public news briefing, Ashwood said hundreds of schools across the state have installed reinforced tornado shelters, but Plaza Towers Elementary and Briarwood Elementary were not among them."

Aftermath of a Storm

May 21, 2013

"Jessica’s father was at home when the tornado hit and hid in the bathroom. It was the only room in the house where the roof wasn't entirely ripped off, and her father survived. “It makes you feel blessed,” Ellerd said. She gestured toward the house. “This is just stuff.”

WATCH: Moore Tornado As Seen From Space

May 21, 2013

When it became clear that the conditions over Moore, Okla. were ripe for a huge tornado, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration put its GOES-13 satellite into high gear.

Instead of imaging the earth every 30 minutes, it was doing it every 5 minutes. The images it beamed back are stunning. Here's a time-lapse video that NOAA put together and released today:

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma City energy giant, a veterans group, and a superstar athlete have each announced three separate $1 million gifts to aid storm relief efforts following Monday's tornado that killed dozens in Moore.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced this morning it will donate $1 million to the American Red Cross to help in the rescue and recovery efforts in Moore.

The oil and gas company says it's also organizing hundreds of employee volunteers to help in the relief effort.

Oklahoma City Residents Asked To Conserve Water

May 21, 2013
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Oklahoma City residents are being asked to help conserve water while power remains out at one of the city's main water treatment facilities.

City officials say rain and lightning during Monday night's storm delayed progress to restore power at the Draper Water Treatment Plant.

City spokeswoman Debbie Ragan says low water pressure is being reported in downtown Oklahoma City, the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the state Capitol complex.

Ragan says city officials hope to have power restored by Tuesday afternoon.

Coburn: Any Tornado Aid Must Be Paid For

May 21, 2013
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) greeting President Barack Obama.
Tom Coburn / Facebook

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says that any additional federal aid to help tornado victims and to rebuild devastated areas of his state should be financed with cuts to other programs in the government's $3.6 trillion budget.

Spokesman John Hart says it's a position Coburn has consistently held regarding federal spending on disasters dating to the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City.

Google

This interactive map from Google highlights the storm track, as well as locations for American Red Cross shelters throughout Central Oklahoma.

Relief organization Save the Children says it's sending help to families affected by Monday's deadly tornado in Moore.

Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles says experience shows that children are most vulnerable during emergencies. The organization plans to send kits for shelters to create safe play spaces for children displaced by Monday's deadly tornado.

Lauren Gardner stands near a family members house, which was destroyed by the tornado.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz took cover in Moore on his drive home from KGOU Monday afternoon. Once the tornado passed, he immediately went to work reporting for Oklahoma's public radio stations and NPR.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The state medical examiner's office has revised the death toll from a tornado in an Oklahoma City suburb to 24 people, including seven children.

Spokeswoman Amy Elliot said Tuesday morning that she believes some victims were counted twice in the early chaos of the storm.

Authorities said initially that as many as 51 people were dead, including 20 children.

Teams are continuing to search the rubble in Moore, 10 miles south of Oklahoma City, after the Monday afternoon tornado.

Dozens Killed In Massive Tornado Near Oklahoma City

May 20, 2013

(This post was last updated at 11:45 p.m. ET.)

A massive tornado ripped through the southern suburbs of Oklahoma City, Monday afternoon, killing at least 51 people, according to the state medical examiner's office.

The death toll was expected to rise.

Helicopter images showed large tracts of Moore, Okla., completely leveled by what the National Weather Service says was at least an EF-4 tornado with winds in excess of 166 mph. The tornado stayed on the ground for 40 minutes and traveled 20 miles.

Fallin Touring Tornado Damage In Carney, Shawnee

May 20, 2013
Red Cross Oklahoma / Twitter

Gov. Mary Fallin is touring the areas hit hard by tornadoes Sunday.

The governor visited Carney at 10 a.m. Monday before traveling to the Shawnee area. The governor plans to tour the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park in Shawnee, where two people were killed.

Twenty-one people were also injured after severe weather raked the state.

Tornado Hits OKC Suburb, Kicking Up Debris

May 19, 2013
Mike Prendergast / SkyWatcherMedia.com

A tornado kicked up debris in an Oklahoma City suburb and threatened a number of tourist attractions on historic Route 66 before growing into a larger storm that rolled across rural parts of central Oklahoma.

Television footage Sunday showed a tornado at Edmond . The storm threatened a novelty soda-pop store and a historic barn in the small town of Arcadia, then grew into a larger storm as it moved northeastward a few miles north of the Turner Turnpike between Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning for Lincoln and Pottawatomie Counties until 7:30 p.m.

The Norman Forecast Office says a new tornado is likely developing north of I-40 along the Lincoln-Pottawatomie County line.

Nearly 7,600 OG&E customers in Central Oklahoma are without power, according to the utility's System Watch.

More says severe thunderstorms are possible until midnight, with hail up to the size of baseballs and 70-mile-per-hour wind gusts as the main threats with some of the stronger storms.

Tornadoes are also possible, especially in the area from north of Oklahoma City to Medford and Ponca City.

KGOU is currently broadcasting Channel 5 KOCO-TV's First Alert Weather Coverage. Watch here.

Paige Burress / Texas Storm Chasers

The twister that ripped through the town of Granbury, Tex.  Wednesday night killed at least six people and injured dozens of others.

The National Weather Service classified the deadly Texas twister as a powerful EF4, with winds up to 200 miles-per-hour.

University of Oklahoma meteorology student Paige Burress captured video of the tornado for the weather blog Texas Storm Chasers. She told Here & Now host Robin Young it was a "sobering experience."

Spring rains drowned the “merciless” drought throughout much of the Midwest and Plains, the AP reports. But the drought lingers in pockets of Western and Plains states — “including southwest Oklahoma:”

How Low Can It Go? Tornado Numbers, Deaths Fall

May 6, 2013
Harold Brooks / NOAA

The 12-month period from May 2012 to April 2013 was remarkable for the absence of tornado activity and tornado impacts in the United States.

We can start by looking at the number of EF1 and stronger tornadoes during that period. A final count is available through January 2013 and we have a pretty good estimate of how many occurred in February through April, although final numbers won’t be available until July. Although the 12 month total may change a little bit with the final data, it’s unlikely to change enough to affect the results here.

May is Tornado Month in Oklahoma

May 5, 2013
National Weather Service

Tis the season ... when we check the forecasts, make sure the batteries in the radios are good, and rehearse safety plans with the family and our neighbors.  Tornado season is here.

Cold Front Approaches Oklahoma

May 1, 2013

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - April showers won't bring May flowers to parts of Oklahoma this week. Instead, forecasters say some areas could see sleet and snow over the next few days.

The National Weather Service says temperatures are expected to plummet from the 70s and 80s on Wednesday to near or below freezing early Thursday. A handful of severe thunderstorms popped up Wednesday in southwestern Oklahoma ahead of the cold front.

But what falls from the sky is only part of the equation. In Oklahoma, droughts are meteorological — and agricultural.

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