Weather and Climate

Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Take Shelter Oklahoma Vs. AG Scott Pruitt Results In "Mixed Bag" Ruling

Credit benchilada / Flickr Creative Commons

About a month ago, Oklahoma’s Supreme Court heard the case of Take Shelter Oklahoma vs. Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

The school shelter advocacy group filed suit against Pruitt, claiming he tried to sabotage their effort to put a $500 million bond issue on an upcoming ballot. 

The high court ruled last week, and the decision seemed to be a compromise, but not everyone was happy. 

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Severe Storms
9:18 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Severe Storms Forecast For Oklahoma Tuesday

A few severe thunderstorms are possible mainly between 4-10 p.m. Tuesday. Very large hail will be the main hazard, though damaging winds and tornadoes may also occur.
Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Oklahomans are facing their first significant risk for tornadoes of the spring storm season. The National Weather Service says the potential for severe thunderstorms increases Tuesday afternoon. If storms develop they are likely to be severe.

While the storms will be fairly isolated, forecasters say conditions for severe weather will become more favorable through the day. What the weather service calls “significant severe storms” are possible mainly between 4-10 p.m.

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Storm Shelters
11:58 am
Tue April 1, 2014

High Court Upholds Oklahoma School Shelter Ballot

Petitions are completed in December for the Take Shelter Oklahoma organization. The group needs roughly 155,000 signatures to place the state question on the November ballot.
Credit Kurt Gwartney / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says a ballot title written by the attorney general's office for an initiative to place storm shelters in Oklahoma public schools is legally correct but gave proponents more time to gather signatures to place the measure on the ballot.

The high court ruled Tuesday that proponents of the initiative petition, State Question 767, have 90 days to collect the signatures needed to get the measure on the election ballot. Supporters need the signatures of about 155,000 registered voters to get on the ballot.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
11:15 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Six Ways To Prepare For Oklahoma’s Tornado Season

Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

There’s little doubt Oklahomans will be more sensitive and more concerned than usual as the spring storm season approaches after the devastating events of May 2013. Dozens of people died as three violent tornadoes tore across Pottawatomie, Canadian and Cleveland counties within a two-week span.

Since September, KGOU has been working to prepare for severe weather in 2014 with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. On March 12, we hosted a panel discussion about tornado preparedness and storm safety at the Moore Public Library, just a few hundred yards from where the May 20 twister crossed Interstate 35.

We learned six things you need to know to prepare for the 2014 tornado season:

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon March 31, 2014

New Severe Weather Warning System Comes To Oklahoma

An example of what the National Weather Service calls a "considerable" tornado.
Credit National Weather Service

Meteorologists are really good at understanding all sorts of complicated weather-related jargon. But when severe storms are in the forecast, it’s important to communicate those threats in a way that people can easily understand. 

The National Weather Service has been testing a new, simpler approach in different parts of the country, and last week, they introduced their system to Oklahoma. 

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The Protojournalist
2:26 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

What Winter Will Be Like In 100 Years

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:57 pm

One of the upsides to the seemingly endless winter of 2014 was that you had time to think.

And to ask futuristic questions, such as: What will the American Winter of 2114 be like?

Here are some of the answers.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Serve Moore's Spring Break Renews City Park, Restores Community Pride

University of Hartford students spend their spring break planting trees at Little River Park in Moore.
Credit Kate Carlton / Oklahoma Tornado Project

During spring break, most college kids escape school and work for a simpler life at the beach. But sometimes, groups of teenagers and 20-somethings venture away from the sand and into the dirt. 

One Oklahoma group has decided to use those students to revitalize areas of Moore affected by the May 20 tornado. 

Spending your spring break planting trees in a muddy park thousands of miles from your home may not sound like the most relaxing and rewarding way to spend a week. 18-year-old Tyler Lawson from Connecticut realizes he’s working a lot harder than many of his classmates.

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May 2013 Tornado Outbreak
2:14 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

NWS Report Suggests A Plan For Multiple Severe Weather Events

The path of the May 31, 2013 El Reno tornado.
Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service issued a report Friday examining last May's tornados in Oklahoma. The assessment encourages the Norman Forecast Office to develop a plan for more than one severe weather event at a time.

On May 31, eight people died in the El Reno tornado while 13 died from flash flooding that followed heavy rain. National Weather Service Meteorologist Kenneth Harding says each element of a multiple warning system should be weighted based upon its urgency and severity.

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Tornado
8:31 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Moore Approves Tornado Resistant Building Codes

New homes in Moore, Okla. should be able to withstand winds up to 135 miles per hour if built to new building codes passed Monday.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The City of Moore is adopting stricter building codes intended to reduce the damage from high winds. The new regulations should strengthen homes against tornado damage.

The codes approved by the Moore City Council Monday would require hurricane straps that connect the roof of a home to the wall studs. The rules also add anchors that tie the frame to the foundation, continuous plywood bracing and garage doors built to withstand high winds.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Sounding The Social Media Alarm During Severe Weather

Harold Brooks, Rick Smith and Michelann Ooten speak about storm safety at The Oklahoma Tornado Project's March 12, 2014 forum.
Credit Kate Carlton / Oklahoma Tornado Project

With tornado season approaching, many Oklahomans will turn to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to stay informed of the latest hazards. 

Use of these outlets explodes during severe weather outbreaks, as people try to disseminate information, share pictures and update each other on the course of the storm. But despite their ability to quickly deliver breaking news, social media can often contribute to spreading outdated information. 

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