Weather and Climate

Tornado Recovery
11:08 am
Fri August 30, 2013

Feds Give Oklahoma $37 Million In New Storm Aid

Survivors of May's tornado look at a car damaged in the storm.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The city of Moore and state of Oklahoma will receive nearly $37 million in federal aid to help recover from the May and June tornadoes and storms that killed dozens of people and caused damage estimated at more than $1 billion.

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced Friday that Moore will receive $23.6 million for recovery efforts from the May 20 tornado and the state will receive $10.6 million for storms that occurred from May 18 to June 2.

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Drought
11:20 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Dry Conditions Spread In Oklahoma

Parts of southwest Oklahoma remain in exceptional to extreme drought.
Credit Anthony Artusa / NOAA/NWS/NCEP/CPC

The worst drought categories are unchanged in Oklahoma this week, although abnormally dry conditions have spread into more areas of the state.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
11:01 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Twister Truths: Can Nothing Survive An EF5 Tornado?

The skeleton of a home on Lakeview Drive in Moore, which was ravaged by the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

This is part two in StateImpact Oklahoma's "Twister Truths" series where we use data to kick the tires on the conventional wisdom underlying severe weather policy in Oklahoma. Read part one here

Despite the risk that comes with living in Tornado Alley, many Oklahomans are reluctant to build tornado shelters. And state and local building codes don’t factor for twisters.

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6:55 am
Thu August 29, 2013

What Do Hurricane Katrina and the Moore Tornado Have in Common?

Lead in text: 
It's been eight years since Hurricane Katrina, and about three months since the EF-5 tornado that hit Moore, Okla. Mike Smith points out a commonality between the two storms and human reaction.
Yes, they were both "cyclones" (low pressure systems). Yes, they were both windstorms. But, there is something they have in common that might, if not managed properly, cause mass casualties in the future: Terrible traffic jams when a second storm days later.
Water Quality
9:24 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Microscopic Dangers Lurk In Oklahoma Lake Water

Grand Lake in northeast Oklahoma
Credit GRDA

The Department of Environmental Quality is urging Oklahomans to be wary of microorganisms when swimming or boating on the state's untreated lakes and streams during the long Labor Day weekend.

DEQ says certain kinds of bacteria, viruses and protozoa can occur naturally in waterways while others are carried from a variety of sources. Some can cause mild problems such as ear infections, swimmer's itch and gastrointestinal disorders. Others can cause rare but serious conditions such as eye infections and some forms of meningitis.

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Drought
10:36 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Hay Prices Stay High

Credit babykrul / Stock.XCHNG

Colorado ranchers won't be getting a break on hay prices despite recent rains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says prices have increased about 54 percent in the last five years, from $6.50 a bale to $10 a bale.

According to the Denver Post, demand from states like Texas and Oklahoma is pushing hay prices up because ranchers in those states are buying up Colorado supplies at a premium.

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11:24 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Oklahoma School Year And Severe Weather

Lead in text: 
Oklahoma school children attend classes in all kinds of weather. Do you know where the greatest risk for severe weather is located in the state during the school year? Storm Prediction Center meteorologist Patrick T. Marsh crunches the numbers.
With the school year either already begun, or about to begin, for much of Oklahoma, I thought I'd write a post about the Oklahoma School Year and severe weather. For these results, I've identified the school year as every day between the months of January through (and including) May as well as August through (and including) December.
May 2013 Tornado Coverage
1:31 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

School Year Begins In Moore, Oklahoma

Gov. Mary Fallin tours the damage of Plaza Tours Elementary School in Moore in the days after the May 20, 2013 tornado.
Credit The National Guard / Flickr Creative Commons

Listen to Meghna Chakrabarti's conversation with Moore Public Schools Superintendent Robert Romines.

Students are back in school in Moore, Oklahoma, nearly three months after a deadly tornado tore through town.

The storm killed a total of 25 people, including seven third-graders who had hunkered down at the Plaza Towers Elementary School with their teachers.

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May 2013 Tornado Coverage
8:23 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Oklahoma School Districts Consider Adding Storm Shelters

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

Today is the first day of school for students in Moore, Oklahoma. It is a bittersweet return. Nearly three months ago, a tornado tore through that small community. The storm destroyed hundreds of buildings, including two elementary schools. Seven students and 18 other people died. The storm has fueled a debate about why there aren't more storm shelters in the heart of Tornado Alley. Across Oklahoma, there's no statewide plan to put shelters in schools.

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All Tech Considered
6:34 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Tornado Tech: How Drones Can Help With Twister Science

Drones can provide information about temperature, humidity and pressure that current radar systems can't provide. Above, the Talos drone, which has a 15.5-foot wingspan.
Jamey Jacob Oklahoma State University

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 10:30 am

Oklahoma was hit particularly hard by two massive outbreaks this year in what's been another deadly season of tornadoes in the U.S. Despite technology and forecasting improvements, scientists still have plenty to learn about how and why tornadoes form.

Currently, one of the best ways for researchers to understand how tornadoes form is to chase them. So off they go with mobile science laboratories, rushing toward storms armed with research equipment and weather-sensing probes.

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