Weather and Climate

StateImpact Oklahoma
2:11 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

State Water Leaders Give Grim Drought Update And Push For More Conservation

Retired Col. Michael Teague, Secretary of Energy and Environment, stands in front of a dam at Lake Eufaula.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The fact that lakes in eastern Oklahoma are full, and last year was wetter than normal for many areas of the state makes some people think the three-year drought is over.

Those people would be wrong, according to state Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague.

Teague joined Oklahoma Water Resources Board Executive Director J.D. Strong Friday at the state capitol for a press conference updating the state’s drought situation.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Wildlife After Tornadoes: To Rehabilitate Or Not, That Is The Question

Wildcare founder Rondi Large
Credit Kate Carlton

In the eight months since a series of severe storms battered the state, much of the recovery has been focused on people repairing their homes and putting their lives back together. But the tornados also displaced and injured hundreds of wild animals, and one organization took steps to help those animals even after it was hit by a storm itself. 

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64% Of Oklahoma Remains In Drought
6:30 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Fallin Says Keep Up Water Conservation Practices

Credit duggar11 / Flickr.com

Gov. Mary Fallin says Oklahomans should implement water conservation practices as drought and dry conditions continue in the state.

The U.S. Drought Monitor says more than 64 percent of Oklahoma remains in a drought. Those conditions will affect water availability throughout the state, particularly in southwestern Oklahoma where sustained, exceptionally dry conditions have led to record low lake levels along the Red River.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
9:07 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Don’t (Completely) Blame the Drought For Increasing Number Of Outdoor Burn Bans

Current burn bans in Oklahoma.
Credit Oklahoma Forestry Service

11 Oklahoma counties have now issued burn bans because of high fire danger, with bans in Edmond and Oklahoma City extending indefinitely — or “until the city gets more moisture and the situation improves,” District Chief Marc Woodard told The Oklahoman:

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Drought
3:38 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Frustrations And Rumors Bubble To The Surface As Lake Texoma Waters Retreat

Credit The Italian Voice / Flickr Creative Commons

Lake Texoma’s level was about 609 feetlast week, down from 612 feet two months ago. The lake can only be used for hydropower until levels drop to 590 feet.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Animal Welfare Groups Seek Clearer Chain Of Command After May Tornadoes

Credit Animal Resource Center

In the days and weeks following the May 20 tornado, an estimated 850 pets were lost and shuffled between individuals’ homes, triage clinics and shelters. Most of them were eventually reunited with their owners, but eight months later, nearly a third have been adopted by new families, since their original owners were never able to be found. 

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:05 am
Fri January 17, 2014

20 Oklahoma Counties Designated Natural Disaster Areas Because Of Drought

The latest update of the U.S. Drought Monitor as of Jan. 14, 2014.
Credit Provided / U.S. Drought Monitor

Oklahoma got a reminder this week that — despite a wet year for many parts of the state — drought continues to rage in other areas, mainly the south and southwest.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture designated counties in 11 states as primary natural disaster areas because of the drought, including 20 counties in Oklahoma.

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Drought
1:30 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Drought Prompts Disaster Declarations In 11 States

Credit OakleyOriginals / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal officials have designated portions of Oklahoma and 10 other western and central states as primary natural disaster areas because of a drought.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's announcement Wednesday also includes counties in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, and California.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement that he sympathizes with farmers and ranchers who are dealing with the lack of rain and snow, and assured them that the USDA will stand by them.

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6:55 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

2013 Warmer, Wetter Than Average For The Contiguous US

Lead in text: 
Tornadoes killed 54 people in 2013, even though the number of twisters was below average. The National Climatic Data Center has its year-end report on weather across the nation and the globe.
The State of the Climate is a collection of monthly summaries recapping climate-related occurrences on both a global and national scale.
Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Program Assists Plaza Towers, Briarwood Elementary Students Through Therapeutic Art

Credit Art Feeds

Meg Bourne is the founder of Art Feeds, a non-profit organization based in Joplin, Missouri, which expanded to trauma therapy after an F5 tornado swept through her city in 2011. 

She remembers seeing the media coverage from Oklahoma and thinking it was all too familiar. 

“On the day of the disaster, it really resonated with us watching all these news stories because it looked exactly like Joplin and what we had experienced in Joplin, and all we could think was, ‘How do we get to those kids?’” she said.

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