Weather and Climate

Severe Storms
7:37 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Fallin Tours Damage In Northeast Oklahoma, NWS Rates Quapaw Twister EF2

Gov. Mary Fallin meets with leaders, emergency managers, and first responders in Quapaw Monday, April 28.
Kurt Gwartney Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross

Gov. Mary Fallin toured damage in the northeastern Oklahoma community of Quapaw on Monday, a day after a tornado killed one person and damaged nearly 60 structures.

Sixty-eight-year-old John L. Brown, of Baxter Springs, Kansas, was killed when he was traveling through Quapaw and he pulled over into a parking lot. Fifteen homes were totally destroyed.

Oklahoma escaped relatively unscathed - especially since no tornado warnings had been issued beforehand.

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The Two-Way
6:43 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Twisters In 3 States Kill More Than A Dozen People

A motel and restaurant show significant damage from a tornado that ripped through Tupelo, Miss., on Monday.
Jim Lytle AP

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 5:32 pm

This post was updated at 6:15 p.m. ET.

A second day of tornadoes has caused devastation in the South, killing more than a dozen people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Some 50 twisters were reported in the region in a 24-hour period from Monday into Tuesday, according to meteorologists.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Killer Tornadoes Rip Through Arkansas, Oklahoma

Travel trailers and motor homes were piled on top of each other at Mayflower RV in Mayflower, Ark., on Sunday after tornadoes carved through the central and southern U.S.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Mon April 28, 2014 12:55 pm

This post was updated at 1:53 p.m. ET

Emergency officials were searching Monday for survivors after tornadoes tore through parts of Arkansas and Oklahoma overnight, killing at least 14 people and leveling entire neighborhoods.

"We don't have a count on injuries or missing. We're trying to get a handle on the missing part," Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said at a news conference Monday. "Just looking at the damage, this may be one of the strongest we have seen."

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Three Years Later, Norman Residents Still Wait For Storm Shelter Rebates

Karen Stark stands in her newly installed safe room in her garage in Norman.
Credit Kate Carlton

Tornado season has returned once again, and after the experience of last year, many Oklahomans are re-assessing their safety plans and prepping their designated refuge areas. 

For some people, that just means cleaning out their safe room. But for others, this weekend’s tornado scare was a reminder that they still haven’t gotten funding they were promised to build safe rooms.

Karen Stark has lived in Norman for decades. She’s seen her fair share of storms. But it wasn’t until just a few years ago that she finally decided it was time to install a safe room in her house.

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Severe Storms
6:05 am
Mon April 28, 2014

One Killed, More Injured During Sunday Tornado Outbreak In Northeast Oklahoma

A house destroyed by the Sunday, April 27 tornado that devastated Quapaw, Oklahoma.
Kurt Gwartney Eastern Oklahoma Region - American Red Cross

Updated at 10:58 a.m. with the name of the victim, and declaration of a state of emergency

Gov. Mary Fallin has declared a state of emergency for Ottawa County following a tornado that struck Quapaw that destroyed the fire station and at least five businesses and other structures. Damage assessments continue Monday.

Under the executive order, state agencies can make emergency purchases and acquisitions to deliver materials and supplies to needed jurisdictions. The declaration also marks a first step toward seeking federal assistance.

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Severe Storms
11:53 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Large Hail, Damaging Winds Could Move Through Oklahoma Saturday And Sunday

Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says it’s starting to get a better idea of the timing of severe storms expected to hit the state Saturday and Sunday.

Thunderstorms will start to develop late afternoon and early evening Saturday in far southwestern Oklahoma, moving northeast overnight into Sunday.

Large, damaging hail and damaging winds are the primary concern, but tornadoes are possible.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:35 am
Thu April 24, 2014

What An Oklahoma Grazing Land Can Teach Us About Global Climate Change

University of Oklahoma Ph.D. student and research assistant Yuting Zhou installs a sensor in an experimental wheat field at the Grazinglands Research Lab in El Reno, Okla.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma is known for its wild weather. And now, the state’s variable climate is helping scientists understand how climate change could affect farms everywhere.

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Storm Preparedness
9:12 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Scientists, City Officials Say Moore's Warren Theatre Not A Severe Weather Destination

The Warren Theatre in Moore in the days after the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Jamin Yeager Aerial Oklahoma

As the state prepares for another round of severe weather Saturday, city officials in Moore are worried about residents taking shelter in a local movie theater that held up well during the May 20, 2013 tornado.

“People think that the Warren Theatre is magic,” said National Severe Storms Laboratory senior scientist Harold Brooks. “The Warren Theatre was basically not hit by the tornado. It survived [as well as] it did because it didn't get hit by the tornado.”

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Severe Storms
12:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

UPDATE: Severe Weather Possible Today, But Watch The Weekend

Credit Norman Forecast Office / National Weather Service

Updated April 23, 2014 at 3:17 p.m.

Scattered severe storms could develop along a dry line developing over the Texas and Oklahoma panhandle Wednesday, but National Weather Service meteorologists are starting to predict the possibility of a more significant severe weather threat this weekend.

Forecaster Marc Austin says the main hazards Wednesday consist of baseball-sized hail, and damaging 70-80 mile-per-hour wind gusts.


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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Millions Of Pounds Worth Of Tornado Debris: Where Does It All Go?

Birds flock over the active portion of Jeff Bedick's Waste Connections landfill.
Credit Kate Carlton

It’s been nearly a year since a series of tornadoes devastated central Oklahoma, destroying homes, parks and commercial buildings. During the recovery process, construction crews gathered over 300,000 tons of debris between just Oklahoma City and Moore. 

Jeff Bedick is the District Manager for Waste Connections, which operates a landfill in west Oklahoma City. The facility sits on 200 acres, which mostly just looks like a giant, grass-covered hill on the side of the highway.

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