Weather and Climate

StateImpact Oklahoma
2:31 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Red Cedars Aren’t As Thirsty As We Thought, But They Still Suck

This 2011 fire in the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge was fueled, in part, by red cedars.
Credit Dennis Frank / Flickr Creative Commons

Eastern Red Cedar trees are bad for Oklahoma. The volatile oils they contain can cause the trees to explode during wildfires, spreading embers over hundreds of yards. They crowd out other plants, force wildlife off their habitats, and steal rainfall — which is bad news during a drought.

As The Journal Record‘s Brian Brus reports, it’s been said each red cedar can guzzle dozens of gallons of water each day:

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Weather and Climate
10:38 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Cold Air Brings End to Oklahoma Growing Season

The Oklahoma Mesonet windchill map from Tuesday morning.
Credit Oklahoma Mesonet

Frigid air continues to push into the southern plains, bringing unseasonably cold conditions and a hard freeze warning to Oklahoma.

High temperatures Tuesday will struggle to reach the 40s, with wind chills in the 30s throughout the day.

Overnight lows will fall into the 17-to-27 degree range across the state early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service Norman forecast office. This hard freeze will also end the growing season.

Temperatures will slowly rebound through the weekend, with highs returning to near 60 degrees by Friday.

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Around The State
4:10 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Cold Weather Bringing Out Wildlife To Roadways

Credit OregonDOT / Flickr.com

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says it's seeing an increase in the number of vehicle collisions with animals.

Troopers have responded to several crashes throughout the state in recent days, and officials want to remind motorists of the dangers associated with driving this time of year.

Capt. George Brown says that with cooler temperatures settling in, there has been an increase in wildlife movement around state roadways. Brown says the patrol's goal is to remind motorists to use caution when driving, especially in rural areas.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
8:24 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Duncan Weighs Its Water Options As Area Lakes Continue to Dwindle

Credit J. STEPHEN CONN / Flickr Creative Commons

City officials in Duncan, Okla., are looking for ways to keep from running out of water.

If drought conditions continue as they have over the last couple of years, the city of more than 23,000 will see its water supplies totally depleted by the end of 2016, according to a story in the Duncan Banner. 

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon October 28, 2013

National Weather Center Aims To "Prepare, Respond, Restore" At This Year's Festival

Katie Western as Swirl Girl and Rick Smith at the 2012 National Weather Festival.
Credit Kate-Lynn Walsh

Katie Western practices her lines for the upcoming National Weather Festival. She’s majoring in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is one of the festival’s Weather Friends, a group of superheroes representing each kind of severe weather. Katie’s character goes by the name “Swirl Girl.” She’ll run around in a costume and answer questions about tornado preparedness. And even though it’s fun, Katie realizes her role may be more important this year than it has been in years past. 

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StateImpact Oklahoma
12:33 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

StateImpact On OETA: Oklahoma Wind Farms And Weather Radar

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz
Credit Oklahoma Educational Television Authority / YouTube

StateImpact reporter Joe Wertz was a guest on OETA’s Oklahoma News Report last week to discuss his report on how wind farms interfere with weather radar.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
1:15 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Fight For Safe Rooms Leads To Oklahoma Supreme Court

Credit hyku / Flickr / Creative Commons

Kathy Turner works with Take Shelter Oklahoma.  The group wants to build safe rooms to protect students from tornadoes like the one that destroyed Briarwood and Plaza Towers Elementary Schools in Moore.  Turner says her experience as a former school administrator showed her how important government funding can be.

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10:42 am
Tue October 22, 2013

When The Luck Ran Out In El Reno

Lead in text: 
Motivated by adventure, science, and awe at the power of nature, stormchasers are risking it all to get closer to tornadoes than ever before. Last spring, during the deadly Oklahoma City outbreaks, they got more than they bargained for.
THE TOWNS IN Canadian County, Oklahoma, stand like so many thousands of others out on the prairie-anonymous grids of streets and continuous brick facades stamped into the plains by the same great waffle iron. Not much has happened in this rural area 30 miles west of Oklahoma City since the county was settled in one afternoon during the April 22, 1889, Land Run.
StateImpact Oklahoma
12:03 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Why The Growth Of Wind Energy Worries Weather Forecasters In Oklahoma

Radar systems engineer Redmond Kelley and Caleb Fulton, an assistant professor of engineering, test an experimental phased-array weather radar in Norman.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is now No. 6 in the nation in wind-generated electricity capacity, and last week the state helped set a wind power record for the entire region.

Wind farms are multiplying and expanding in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and throughout the Great Plains, where the nation’s wind energy potential is concentrated.

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Residents Face Economic Hardship
3:58 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Five Oklahoma Counties Have Faced Unrelenting Drought

Credit Al Jazeera English / Flickr.com

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a drought emergency for parts of southwestern Oklahoma and a portion of the far western Panhandle.

Despite recent rainfall across much of Oklahoma, information released Tuesday by the U.S. Drought Monitor indicates extreme-to-exceptional drought conditions in the western part of the state. The counties included in the drought emergency are Jackson, Tillman, Greer, Harmon and Texas.

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