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.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Updated 3:17 p.m.

Saturday afternoon the Norman forecast office of the National Weather Service extended the Winter Weather Advisory until 6 a.m. Sunday.

Sleet will likely continue Saturday afternoon, eventually changing over to freezing rain between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. as lows fall to the upper 20s. Little to no sleet accumulation is expected.

Sunday morning there's a possibility of freezing rain before 7 a.m., but that should change over to just rain as much warmer temperatures arrive. Highs will be around 43 degrees.

National Weather Service / Norman Forecast Office

Updated 6:30 a.m.

Most central Oklahoma schools have canceled classes Tuesday due to continuing icy conditions, including Oklahoma City, Norman, Edmond, El Reno and Deer Creek Public Schools.

Several area universities have also delayed their openings.

What the National Weather Service's Norman Forecast Office is calling a "highly complex winter weather scenario" is expected to move through central and northwest Oklahoma this weekend.

Very cold air will move in behind a front Saturday night into Sunday, bringing light wintry precipitation. Northwest Oklahoma could see the greatest amount of snowfall during the first round - anywhere from 1-2 inches.

The map above shows the Oklahoma City's designated regional snow routes.

Feb 15-16 2015 forecast
National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office Norman, OK

Drizzle and rain will begin late this afternoon. As temperatures drop this evening, the rain will change to freezing rain, sleet, and snow from north to south. 

Precipitation chances will increase late tonight. The highest chances for precipitation will mainly be along, and southeast of, I- 44. Some light ice accumulations will be possible Sunday evening, which could lead to some slick roads.

Ranchers Fight Drought With Desert Cows

Feb 10, 2015

Imagine a cow that can tolerate the heat and eats relatively little grass – in other words, a cow that can thrive in the desert.

Meet the Criollo, a cattle breed that was brought to America by Columbus and established by the Spanish conquistadors in the late 1500s.

Criollos were hardy and raised for milk, meat and leather, but the British phased them out in the late 1800s when they introduced new breeds.

Now, researchers and ranchers – especially out West where drought continues to plague farms – are looking to bring back these desert-friendly cows.

Forecasters Apologize, But Why?

Jan 28, 2015

Meteorologists have apologized for getting yesterday’s snow totals so wrong in New Jersey, where only about 3 inches fell instead of the 24 that was predicted.

But other weather experts say the forecasts were not all that wrong because due to last-minute changes in the air, the storm simply tracked about 75 miles farther east than expected, and dropped 30 inches of snow on Long Island.

One of Congress' most vocal skeptics of climate change is backing a measure saying it is real and not a hoax — but says it's arrogance to believe human beings are causing it.

In a surprise move, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) joined an effort Wednesday by Democrats to get the GOP on the record about climate science. The Republican-controlled Senate backed the non-binding measure 98-1 Wednesday. It reads, "Climate change is real and not a hoax."

Many Republicans deny the science or say they don't have the expertise to form an opinion. Inhofe said Wednesday he doesn't buy what most scientists accept — that the burning of fossil fuels from human activities is to blame.

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

2014 Weather In Review

Jan 5, 2015
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.

Lisa Davis (right) with the advocacy group Save Lake Texoma near the Rooster Creek Bridge at Lake Texoma State Park.
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.

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.

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.

Vicki / Flickr.com

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.

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.

Saturated thickness map of Ogallala Aquifer with Keystone XL route layered.
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.

cows
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.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.)
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.

Update: Winter Weather in Oklahoma

Nov 16, 2014
November 16 2014
National Weather Service

The snow has ended for northern OK and is expected to end this evening across parts of central and southern OK, and western north TX. However, despite the snow ending, slick roadways, bridges, overpasses, and sidewalks will remain likely overnight into at least Monday morning. So take it easy, slow down, and allow extra time to get to your destination tonight into tomorrow, including during the morning commute.

Wind chills will also remain cold overnight into Monday morning with values ranging from around zero into the low teens.

Weather And Road Conditions For Sunday

Nov 16, 2014
November 16 2014
National Weather Service

Snow bands will develop behind a strong cold front and spread south today and this evening. Snow accumulations of 1-4 inches will be possible over much of the northern half of Oklahoma, with the heaviest amounts across parts of northern OK. A few places may receive more than 4 inches. The snow will create slick spots on roads, bridges, overpasses and sidewalks. REMEMBER: Exact locations of snowfall amounts can and will likely vary or change.

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