Weather and Climate

Tornado
9:44 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Texas, Oklahoma Top Nation's Tornado Numbers

The May 19, 2013 tornado that hit parts of Edmond, Okla.
Credit Mike Prendergast / SkyWatcherMedia.com

Texas and Oklahoma led the nation in the number of tornadoes last year. Oklahoma's 79 was well above the state's average of 57.

Greg Carbin, the warning coordination meteorologist with the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, told the Tulsa World newspaper the national total of 898 tornadoes was well below normal, which is about 1,000.

Florida, Kansas and Texas typically each have more tornadoes per year than Oklahoma. Texas had 81 last year.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:57 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

How Oklahoma’s Grassland Will Help U.S. Farmers And Foresters React To Climate Change

In an experimental pasture at the Grazinglands Research Laboratory near El Reno, Okla., ecologist Brian Northup collects samples to describe availability and quality of forage.
Credit Stephen Ausmus / U.S. Department of Agriculture

The federal government will use a grassland laboratory near El Reno to research the regional effects of climate change for U.S. farmers, ranchers and foresters, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.

The Grazinglands Research Laboratory was picked to be one of the country’s seven “climate hubs,” where federal and state agencies, university scientists and other researchers will generate data to help landowners “adapt and adjust their resource management,” federal officials said in a statement.

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Here & Now
2:32 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Explains New ‘Climate Hubs’

Credit The Italian Voice / Flickr Creative Commons

The Obama administration is proposing today to create seven regional “climate hubs” with the goal of helping farmers and rural communities combat the most serious effects of climate change: drought, floods, pests and fires.

The move is taking place by executive action and will not go to Congress for approval. The hubs will represent a broad swath of the country’s rural regions and will include Iowa, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and New Mexico.

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Oklahoma Tornado Project
7:30 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Safe Schools 101 Corrects Misinformation, Trains Professionals For Shelter Builds

FEMA Federal Disaster Recovery Coordinator Wayne Rickard assesses Northmoor Elementary School during a Safe Schools 101 session.
Credit Christopher Mardorf / FEMA

Ever since a series of deadly tornadoes rattled the state in May, destroying two elementary schools, the idea of building safe rooms has become much more prominent. After all, according to one study released shortly after the storms, more than 60% of Oklahoma’s schools have no shelter at all. Now the Department of Emergency Management is taking steps to fix that. 

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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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