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.

There have been a number of weather-related deaths in Oklahoma since storms and flooding began on Friday, including a firefighter who died during a water rescue, and a 48-year-old woman who was killed after a tornado struck her home.

Nearly two years ago, a powerful tornado – the widest on record – struck the rural outskirts of Oklahoma City. Fortunately it missed heavily populated areas, but the ensuing flash flood killed 13 people in Oklahoma City, including nine Guatemalan immigrants.

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

All the recent wet weather wiped out the drought in western Oklahoma, but climate scientists say farmers in the region should get ready for more hotter, drier days in the future.

A tornado struck the Best Value Inn on Southeast 44th Street and Interstate 35
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

President Obama signed a disaster declaration Tuesday for areas of Oklahoma affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding in early May.

It makes federal funding available to individuals whose property was damaged in storms in Cleveland, Grady and Oklahoma counties May 5-10.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 9:02 p.m. The National Weather Services says, "Strong to severe storms seem to be increasing in coverage as winds just off the surface (low level jet) is intensifying. Most of these storms are becoming severe quickly, with large hail and very heavy rainfall the primary concerns. Storms may eventually merge into one or more clusters and move north and east. Stay alert as we head into the overnight hours in case storms intensify in your area."

 

Memorial Day Storms Will Add To OK Flooding Concerns

May 25, 2015
National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Norman, OK

Updated 4:30 p.m. The National Weather adds several Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, including a recently tweeted statement regarding a strong storm impacting Pittsburg County. 

Flooding in Oklahoma City on 23rd Street
NATHANAEL CALLON / Twitter

Update May 25, 10 a.m.  The Oklahoma Red Cross closed the Oklahoma City shelter Monday morning, but the other shelters listed below remain open.

Update 2:30 p.m.  Heartline and the Oklahoma Red Cross are offering assistance for people affected by the storms and flooding throughout Oklahoma.

Call HeartLine 2-1-1 for resource information like temporary shelters and agencies taking displaced pets. Heartline also has a web page with resource information. Residents of Oklahoma City can also call 2-1-1 to register the damage so officials can make damage assessments.

Below is an updated list of Red Cross shelters opened in Oklahoma for those affected by flooding.

Oklahoma City area -- closed Monday morning
Messiah Lutheran Church, 3600 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City

Remaining open:

Noble/Slaughterville/Purcell area: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4401 Maguire Rd, Noble

Residents being ferried away from east side of Lake Thunderbird by canoe.
OU Emergency Prep / Twitter

Updated 7:30 p.m. Sunshine.  

Updated 4 p.m. The National Weather Service forecast calls for more dangerous flooding through the rest of this holiday weekend. Light to moderate rain may still be possible Sunday evening and Monday afternoon and evening. This rainfall will worsen ongoing flooding and could lead to more flash flooding in some areas. Flash Flood Warnings/Watches extend through Monday morning across the state.

Flooding on 2nd Street at Rankin in Edmond, Oklahoma
Edmond Police Department

Updated 9:45 p.m. Heavy rainfall continues to create flooding concerns across central Oklahoma.  

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation reports at least 15 road closures

National Weather Service meteorologist Harold Brooks confirms what forecasters had been predicting - today's deluge would surpass historic single-month rainfall record for Oklahoma City.

Heavy flooding at the intersection of Main Street and Lahoma Ave. in Norman on May 19, 2015.
Steven Anderson / Twitter

Updated 7:49 p.m. National Weather Service forecaster warns of potentially "deadly flood and flash flood event” over the Memorial Day weekend.  

Craig Nance, owner of Nance Landscaping in Altus, Okla. says he hasn't done a landscaping job in Altus in three or four years because of the drought.
Logan Layden / StateImpact Oklahoma

This May already ranks as one of the wettest in state history, and continues to snuff out the four-year drought that dried up cities in southwest Oklahoma. Water rationing helped keep Duncan, Lawton, and Altus afloat, but those cities are now scaling back their water saving mandates.

Praise And Worry

A wall cloud lowers over Purcell south of the National Weather Center in Norman Tuesday afternoon.
OU Emergency Prep / Twitter

Updated 6:49 p.m.: Flooding still a major concern

A Flash Flood Warning is in effect until 9:45 p.m. as heavy rain continues to fall across central Oklahoma. 

High water caused a hole to form on the bridge of State Highway 9 over Interstate 35. Authorities closed the roadway and diverted traffic as the Oklahoma Department of Transportation worked to make the roadway passable. 

Meteorologist Jesus Lopez demonstrates some of the weather forecasting software at the Telemundo studios in Oklahoma City.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma’s Spanish speakers have more access to severe weather information now than they did two years ago when tornadoes ripped through Moore and other parts of the Oklahoma City metro. But despite the improvements, gaps in communication remain.

Damage from the May 16, 2015 tornado near Elmer.
Jason Beach / Twitter

Storm survey teams from the National Weather Service spent Sunday surveying damage from two tornadoes that touched down in Oklahoma on Saturday.

Meteorologists assigned a preliminary rating of EF2 to the storm that carved a 35 mile path of damage from southwest of Elmer to east of Snyder in far southwest Oklahoma.

Tornadoes in western Oklahoma damaged homes, brought down power lines and otherwise caused havoc Saturday evening, but no casualties have been reported.

Storm damage south of Elmer, Okla.
Jason Beach / Twitter

Updated 9:42 p.m.: Threat of severe weather moving out of central Oklahoma

Several hundred residential utility customers lost power, and high waters were blocking some city streets after a line of storms moved across the state Saturday evening.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Showers and thunderstorms continue to move across central Oklahoma Friday morning, some of which brought heavy rainfall and quite a bit of lightning before sunrise. A Flood Advisory is in effect until 8 a.m.

Boats meet in the middle of Tom Steed lake in southwestern Oklahoma in May 2014. Under normal lake conditions, the rocks in the foreground would be submerged.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A soggy April and a slow-moving storm system that dumped record rainfall has drenched Oklahoma’s drought. The rain is welcome, but officials and experts warn the relief could be fleeting.

Storm debris piled along 36th Ave. NW just north of Tecumseh Road in Norman
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The City of Norman is starting debris collection Wednesday after tornadoes and straight-line winds caused heavy damage in the northwest part of the city a week ago.

The city is working with TFR Enterprises of Leander, Tex. to remove tree branches, vegetation, trash, and other debris from the street right-of-way, which is definied as an area 15 feet behind the edge of the street. 

Two years ago, one of the worst tornadoes on record hit the town of Moore, Okla. And you might say to yourself, well, doesn't this always happen there? It's called Tornado Alley for a reason.

And that's pretty much how the residents of Moore think about tornadoes. They're just part of life, and you take your chances. But that kind of thinking was part of the problem on May 20, 2013. The storm that came through that day was different. It was horrific.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has issued another Tornado Watch for Sunday afternoon and evening for central and eastern Oklahoma on what's expected to be the last day of this complex system that's brought more than a foot of rain to parts of Oklahoma.

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