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.

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.

Gov. Mary Fallin speaks to members of the media March 26 after touring the damage at Southgate-Rippetoe Elementary School in Moore.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Gov. Mary Fallin formally requested a federal disaster declaration Wednesday for two Oklahoma counties affected by last week’s tornadoes that damaged thousands of homes and businesses and claimed four lives.

The request for the designation for Cleveland and Tulsa counties is a step toward eligibility for repairs or temporary housing, low-interest loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, as well as other grants and disaster unemployment assistance.

A series of severe thunderstorms led to tornadoes across Oklahoma last night, killing one person and injuring several others. More than 75,000 people are without power and numerous schools are closed, as the damage is assessed.

On the same day in 1948, a tornado hit the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, causing considerable damage but few injuries and no fatalities. That is because Air Force Captain Robert Miller and Major Ernest Fawbush predicted the atmospheric conditions that led to the storm, based on another storm that occurred five days earlier.

Moore resident Joetta Strain holds her "prized possession," a photograph of her parents she's had since she was 16. The home she's lived in since 1973 is likely a total loss after Wednesday's tornado.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Updated 2:31 p.m.: National Weather Service issues preliminary report

The Norman office of the National Weather Service spent Thursday assessing the aftermath of Wednesday's tornado and damaging straight line winds, and are surveying damage in southwest Oklahoma City and Moore.

The Weather Service received some criticism on social media for the timing of the tornado warning, and Thursday's report estimates the first tornado warning was issued six minutes after the twister developed over southwest Oklahoma City.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 2:19 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Watch for much of central and eastern Oklahoma as the threat of severe weather slowly increases.

The Norman Forecast Office says the prime time for storm development should come between 3 and 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated 5:18 a.m.

After a delayed arrival, a winter storm dumped several inches of snow and coated roads and surfaces with a thin layer of ice Wednesday.

School districts canceled classes for a second day in a row Thursday, and most major universities have delayed openings and classes until later in the morning or early afternoon.

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.

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