Weather and Climate

Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon May 26, 2014

Red Cross Program Teaches Emergency Preparedness To Kids Affected By 2013 Tornadoes

Red Cross worker Shannon Reed leads a class of Soldier Creek Elementary fifth graders in practicing a tornado drill. The Red Cross is visiting schools throughout the region, including this one in Midwest City, to teach
Jason Colston/American Red Cross

During tornado season, preparedness is key. Phrases like “Don’t be scared, be prepared” populate Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites when there’s a severe weather threat. One organization is now taking steps to ensure kids also know what to do when weather rolls in.

Shannon Reed is a Community Resiliency Specialist with the Red Cross. Last month, she spent a day in a gymnasium at Carney Elementary School, teaching kids about severe weather.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:35 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Oklahoma’s Drought-Withered Wheat Harvest Could Have National Effects

Brothers and business partners Fred and Wayne Schmedt stand in their family's wheat field near Altus in southwest Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Four years of extreme drought has withered the agricultural economies of southern Great Plains states like Oklahoma, where farmers are bracing for one of worst wheat crops in state history.

And Oklahoma’s withered wheat harvest could have national consequences.

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Severe Storms
1:21 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

12 Things You May Not Know About The 2013 Moore Tornado

Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the May 20, 2013 tornado that killed 24 residents in Moore, injured hundreds, and caused an estimated $2 billion in damage.

To mark the occasion, the Norman Forecast Office of the National Weather Service put together a presentation highlighting a dozen observations from the 2013 storms in the community also hard-hit by strong, violent tornadoes in May 1999 and May 2013.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:47 am
Mon May 19, 2014

City Of Duncan Water Rationing Unchanged As Waurika Lake Withers

From the latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor, showing most of western Oklahoma in extreme or exceptional drought, the worst categories.
U.S. Drought Monitor

In October 2013, Waurika Lake, a source of water for Lawton, Duncan, and surrounding communities in southwest Oklahoma, was at 44 percent of its conservation pool. As of Tuesday, the water level was at 39.53 percent, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Neighbors Find Comfort In Community After 2013 Moore Tornado

Tornado Survivors Alise Newby and Micah Moody find comfort in being neighbors after their homes were destroyed May 20, 2013
Kate Carlton

One year ago this week, a deadly EF-5 tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma, taking the lives of 24 people and destroying over 1,100 homes. For many people, this week marks a painful reminder of the damage. For others, the year anniversary is an opportunity to put the devastation behind them with the support of their peers. 

Alise Newby lived right across from Plaza Towers Elementary School last year when the tornado leveled both the school and her house. She isn’t from Oklahoma, so she wasn’t exactly sentimental when it came to finding a new home outside of the devastated town.

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4:25 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Parched: A New Dust Bowl Forms in the Heartland

Lead in text: 
A quarter of Oklahoma, including the panhandle, and neighboring counties in Kansas and Texas are rated as being in "exceptional drought," the driest category on the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor—a status so dry that farmers express relief whenever their standing moves incrementally up a notch to "extreme drought."
Four years into an unrelentingly mean, hot drought, a new Dust Bowl engulfs the same region that was the geographic heart of the original.
StateImpact Oklahoma
7:11 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Public Forum Questions Reveal Concern About Climate Change in Oklahoma

People waiting to ask questions at StateImpact's public forum on how climate change is affecting Oklahoma.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week, we hosted a public forum on how climate change affects Oklahoma. A panel of experts took audience questions on water and agriculture, and if the discussion is any guide, Oklahomans are curious, frustrated and concerned about climate change.

The Picasso Café in Oklahoma City was standing room only. One by one, audience members took the microphone and posed questions to our panelists: Clay Pope, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, and Dr. David Engle, Director of Oklahoma State University’s Water Resources Center.

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Weather and Climate
12:02 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Storms Possible Sunday Evening into Monday

Oklahoma weather forecast for Sunday and Monday.
Credit National Weather Service

The Norman office of the National Weather Service reports that it will be windy across Oklahoma till at least 7pm.  Thunderstorms are likely this evening, beginning after 5pm in western Oklahoma, and continuing eastward into Monday as a cold front moves across the region. Severe weather is possible starting early evening and continuing into the early Monday morning hours. The potential for severe storms will diminish Monday morning but could increase again Monday afternoon and evening. Large hail and damaging straight-line winds will be the main concerns.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
1:12 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Drier, Hotter, More Extreme Weather: How Climate Change Is Already Affecting Oklahoma

A supercell near Courtney, Okla., in April 2014.
Kelly DeLay Flickr Creative Commons

A new federal report bluntly warns that every region of the United States is already observing climate change-related affects to the environment and economy.

In Oklahoma and other Great Plains states, climate change from carbon emissions is changing crop growth cycles, increasing energy and water demand, altering rainfall patterns and leading to more frequent extreme weather and climate events, the report concludes.

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Severe Storms
10:31 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Large Hail, Damaging Winds Possible Wednesday-Thursday, Tornadoes Unlikely

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says there's a possibility of severe storms with very large hail Wednesday afternoon and evening.

The best chance comes over Southwest Oklahoma, but very large hail up to the size of tennis balls and damaging wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour could develop near and east of a dryline between 4 and 10 p.m.

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