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.

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.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 2:53 p.m.: Several central Oklahoma counties removed from Tornado Watch

The National Weather Service has removed Payne, Lincoln, Logan, Oklahoma, Canadian, Caddo, Kiowa, Jackson, and Hardeman counties from the Tornado Watch issued earlier Saturday.

Severe storms will occur this evening across parts of Oklahoma and western north Texas. Large hail, damaging winds, and tornadoes are possible.
Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 7:22 p.m.: Tornado Warning expires, damage reported in far west Norman

The Tornado Warning for Seminole, Pottawatomie, and Lincoln counties has been allowed to expire.

Power poles were bent and lines are down along 48th Ave. NW near Robinson Ave. Residents were trapped in their neighborhood briefly. Downed lines trapped a pair of firefighters in their engine Friday evening, but they were able to get out safely.

Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Preliminary damage reports from Wednesday’s storms show multiple EF-2 tornadoes hit the metro area. The severe weather injured dozens of people and killed at least one. Residents across the state are trying to get back on their feet. 

The motel near Interstate 35 and SE 44th Street in Oklahoma City.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

KGOU's News Director Jacob McCleland spent the day surveying and reporting on the damage and recording his observations after Wednesday night's and Thursday morning's devastating tornadoes and flooding that killed one person and injured dozens more.

Gov. Mary Fallin meets with firefighters in Bridge Creek Thursday morning, a day after a tornado destroyed several buildings in the central Oklahoma community.
Gov. Mary Fallin / Facebook

Updated 12:14 p.m.: Fallin tours damage in Bridge Creek, addresses the state

Gov. Mary Fallin thanked first responders, charitable volunteers, law enforcement, and emergency workers as she met with members of the Bridge Creek Fire Department and toured damage in the area Thursday morning.

She said the state of emergency she declared Wednesday for 12 Oklahoma counties will allow counties to make emergency purchases without limitations.

The United States says climate change will be front and center on the agenda of the Arctic Council – the intergovernmental body made up of eight countries with territories in the region.

The U.S. is now chair of the council, which includes Russia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Founded in 1996, the council’s purpose is to promote cooperation in the region. They are not policymakers, but do advise governments on issues related to the Arctic.

U.S. Drought Monitor / http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/

Rains across Oklahoma in April helped ease drought conditions in parts of the state, including drought-stricken western Oklahoma.

Climatologist Gary McManus with the Oklahoma Climatological Survey said Friday that four to six inches of rain fell statewide and west-central Oklahoma received an average of 7.6 inches of rain — more than five inches above normal. A total of 13.2 inches of rain fell at Cheyenne in western Oklahoma.

Southeastern and central Oklahoma will see a chance for strong winds, large hail and a possibility of tornadoes Sunday afternoon and evening.
National Weather Service

A storm system will develop over northern Texas and southern Oklahoma this afternoon and evening that could produce damaging winds and large hail, and the potential for tornadoes. 

The most likely area for severe weather this afternoon runs south and east of a line from Clinton to Ada. The strongest storms could produce baseball to softball size hail, 60 to 70 mile per hour winds and a low potential for tornadoes. The possibility for tornadoes is greatest in southwestern Oklahoma and northern Texas.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 8:53 a.m.: Many unknowns making specific impact hard to predict

The National Weather Service says severe thunderstorms are possible across much of central and southern Oklahoma Friday, with an increasing risk of tornadoes.

They’re most likely between 4 and 11 p.m. along the Red River in an area stretching from Ardmore to Durant. 

Dust Bowl survivor Pauline Hodges traveled to the Oklahoma Capitol to speak at an event commemorating the 80th anniversary of the "Black Sunday" dust storm.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

On April 14, 1935, a rolling mountain of dust and sand swept through Oklahoma, choked out the sun and filled homes with dirt piles so high residents had to clean their homes with shovels.

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon near the town of Forgan in Oklahoma’s Panhandle. Pauline Hodges was five at the time. She and her mother were visiting a neighbor when her friend’s father ran up to the backdoor.

Thunderstorms are expected to begin isolated, but quickly become severe. It will likely be later in the afternoon before any severe thunderstorm is able to form, likely first in northern Oklahoma then farther south.
Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 3:44 p.m.: Tornado Watch issued for areas north, west of Interstate 44

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for much of the state north and west of a line that roughly follows Interstate 44.

The Norman Forecast Office says scattered showers and a few thunderstorms will move across central and eastern Oklahoma through the afternoon, bringing small hail and occasional lightning.

A classroom at the damaged Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School in Moore, that took a direct hit during Wednesday's tornado.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated April 8, 7:31 a.m.: SBA loans available

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced that low-interest federal disaster loans are available to Oklahoma businesses and residents affected by the severe storms that raked parts of the state last month.

Tuesday's disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in Canadian, Cleveland, Creek, Grady, McClain, Oklahoma, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties.

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