Weather and Climate

StateImpact Oklahoma
12:09 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Duncan Bans All Outdoor Watering As Waurika Lake Levels Continue To Fall

The December 30, 2014 update of the U.S. Drought Monitor for Oklahoma.
Credit U.S. Drought Monitor

The drought in southwest Oklahoma has lingered for more than four years now, and it will take more than a wet end to 2014 to stop it — a lot more.

Despite receiving above average December precipitation, the City of Duncan will ban all outdoor watering beginning next week. That’s because water levels in Waurika Lake, Duncan’s only current drinking water source, continue to drop.

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Weather and Climate
4:56 am
Mon January 5, 2015

2014 Weather In Review

Norman Forecast Office
Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Winter was noticeably absent through much of December, a deceptively warm month that ended more than 2 degrees above normal to rank as the 38th warmest since records began in 1895.

The season finally lived up to its name during the month's final week, however, with a swath of 3-5 inches of snow along the I-44 corridor in southwestern Oklahoma, along with another icy plunge to ring in the New Year. New Year's Eve was celebrated with patches of freezing drizzle, snow, sleet and below-zero wind chills.

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Weather and Climate
7:01 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Oklahoma's Drought Barely Budges For A Second Week

Lake Texoma near the Rooster Creek Bridge at Lake Texoma State Park.
Credit Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

It's a new year in Oklahoma, but the same old drought is still here.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says Oklahoma's lingering drought barely budged for the second consecutive week.

The report says about 62 percent of the state remains in drought. The Oklahoman reports that nearly 22 percent of Oklahoma was listed in extreme or exceptional drought.

The drought's worst effects are in southwestern and western Oklahoma. Many of those areas have been in drought since October 2010.

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Weather and Climate
8:23 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Freezing Rain, Sleet Likely, With Ice Storm Warning For Central, Southwest Oklahoma

National Weather Service Norman Forecast Office

The National Weather Service has issued an Ice Storm Warning for much of southwestern and central Oklahoma through 6 a.m. Saturday.

Norman Forecast Office meteorologist Doug Spehager says temperatures will linger right around freezing across much of the area today, and figuring out just where that freeze line will be has made predicting this winter storm tricky.

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Weather and Climate
8:45 am
Mon December 29, 2014

VIDEO: 2015 Could Start With More Wintry Weather Across Oklahoma

Norman Forecast Office National Weather Service

After a cold front brought sleet and snow to parts of Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas over the weekend, National Weather Service forecasters say we’re in for another Arctic blast and wintry precipitation.

Starting Monday evening temperatures will fall into the teens and 20s, and breezes from the north will drop wind chills into the teens, to as low as 5 degrees below zero early Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

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Weather and Climate
4:39 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

1.5 Million Oklahomans Affected By Drought

Credit Vicki /

The U.S. Drought Monitor says almost 1.5 million Oklahomans are being affected by drought.

In the past month, the percentage of Oklahoma classified as being in exceptional drought has increased slightly from about 5 percent to almost 6 percent. Most of the areas experiencing exceptional drought are in the southwest corner of the state with a small area in northern Ellis County.

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Weather and Climate
8:34 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Study Will Develop Plan For Drought Stricken Southwest Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Water Resources Board on Tuesday unanimously approved the terms of a plan to further study the Upper Red River Basin as part of the Water SMART Basin Studies Program.

The study, which has an estimated cost of approximately $1.4 million, will help Oklahoma’s southwest corner find ways to best conserve and manage the water they draw from the Upper Red River Basin. Southwest Oklahoma, Planning and Management Division Chief Julie Cunningham said, has been the region most affected by recent drought conditions in the state.

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Weather and Climate
6:31 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

High Plains Aquifer Groundwater Declining

Saturated thickness map of Ogallala Aquifer with Keystone XL route layered.
Credit Kbh3rd / Wikipedia Commons

The U.S. Geological Survey says groundwater levels are declining in an aquifer that serves parts of Oklahoma and seven other states.

The USGS has released a report on changes in groundwater levels in the High Plains Aquifer, also known as the Ogallala Aquifer.

USGS scientist Virginia McGuire says measurements between 2011 and 2013 represent a large decline in groundwater levels and are likely due to increased groundwater pumping.

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Weather and Climate
7:10 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

As Beef Industry Deals With Drought, Researchers Eye Less-Thirsty Cattle

Credit SoonerPA / Flickr Creative Commons

The ongoing drought in Oklahoma affects everyone in the country. Well, everyone who likes to eat beef, that is. Beef and veal prices will have risen by about 11.5 percent in 2014, and, as Reuters reports, “will increase significantly again in 2015″ because of drought in the Southern Plains.

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Weather and Climate
8:04 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe Says Keystone Legislation Will Be Back

Credit Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Oklahoma Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe vowed that legislation for building the Keystone XL Pipeline "will see the light of day" in a new Congress, moments after the Democrat-controlled Senate narrowly defeated a bill to approve the project. 

Tuesday's final vote was 59-41. The bill needed 60 votes to reach the White House. The House passed it overwhelmingly last week.

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