KOKH FOX 25 News

WEATHER BLOG

May 10,2010 Tornado Outbreak
05/10/13

Severe weather is not expected today, but three years ago was a different story.  Here are details on one of the most devastating days in Oklahoma history:  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20100510


TORNADO SUMMIT
03/08/13

1.    Join the FOX 25 StormWatch Weather Team at the COX Convention Center in Downtown OKC for the 1st Annual Nationwide Tornado Summit

    -  Derrick Brock from Mad Science will be doing weather experiments as well as other     forms of entertainment.

2.     - Bruce Jones from Midland Radio will be stressing the importance of NOAA weather radios as a must for everyone's safety plan.  We are also planning an hourly giveaway a to guests.

3.    -  Our entire FOX 25 Weather Team will be there interacting with everyone.  Well take pics and show as many as possible on our next few TV broadcasts.  Also, well have Severe Weather Safety DVDs produced by our team to hand out as gifts. 

4.   -   Chris Novy, a highly accomplished storm chaser who has provided numerous safe chasing presentations for the National Weather Service SKYWARN training program nationwide.  He will be displaying some of the most exciting severe storm and tornado video on record.

5.      -  Up to 3 other experienced storm chasers with their vehicles sharing their stories and showing off their technology.  

     Go to this website to see what all the others in attendance will be doing. Hope to see you there!

hwww.tornadosummit.org/



SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK, March 3rd-9th
03/04/13

During this week, we will be partnering with NOAA and FEMA to highlight the importance of planning and practicing how and where to take shelter before severe weather strikes. Being prepared to act quickly can save you and your family's life.

Being a "Force of Nature" goes beyond taking appropriate preparedness action. Its about inspiring others to do the same. Were asking people not only to be prepared, but also to encourage their social network to act by texting, tweeting, or posting a Facebook status update.

Please go to this website for everything you need to know:

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/force.html

~ Jeff


WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS DAY
11/14/12

These links feature some very basic information on winter weather safety, NWS information, and recent winter storm events. PLEASE prepare, plan , and practice!

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=safety-winterhttp://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20110208http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20110131http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20100128http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20091224

Jeff


Researchers Want to Hear From Moore Residents About Tornadoes
09/20/12

             If you live in Moore, Oklahoma and have experience with tornadoes, researchers from the University of Oklahoma and the National Weather Service would like to hear what you have to say. 

 

The second in a series of tornado town hall meetings will be held at the Moore Community Center, 301 S. Howard Ave. on Monday, September 24th. The free meeting will begin at 7:00 PM and end around 8:30 PM.

 

The tornado town hall meeting is free and open to the public, but the researchers hope to attract mostly residents of Moore.  A meeting on September 6th focused on the Norman area, and a third meeting on October 4th will target the Newcastle area. Participants will first fill out a brief questionnaire, then participate in small and large group discussions.  People will be asked about local perceptions regarding how risk prone different towns are, where tornadoes go and do not go, and where/how they obtained this knowledge.

 

The goal of the research is ultimately to better communicate tornado risk in real-time to the public.  A study done following the April 27, 2011 tornado outbreak in the southeast U.S. revealed that local risk perceptions shaped the way people understood and responded to the outbreak as it happened.  Scientists communicating about tornado threat know nothing about how these perceptions influence behavior, and to communicate better, steps must be taken to understand and account for these other ways of knowing.

 

            We're learning that local beliefs can influence people's perceptions of threat from tornadoes nearly as much as any information we're providing them, said Kim Klockow, of the University of Oklahoma College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences. If we hope to make a message that people understand, we need to know how people in our local area think about tornadoes. We know a lot about the weather, but we know much less about the beliefs or local knowledge of the local people who are experiencing it.           

 

Funding for the research is provided by the University of Oklahoma Department of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, and the project involves researchers from OU A&GS, the Cooperative Institute of Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and the National Weather Service.


ISAAC HITTING THE GULF COAST & AFFECTS ON OKLAHOMA
08/28/12

For the latest track on Tropical Storm or Hurricane Isaac, check out our FOX 25 Hurricane Tracker: http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/wx/features/hurricane_tracker/index.shtml

To get finer details on the storm, go the National Hurricane Center at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/#ISAAC

More importantly for us, watch your Storm Watch Weather forecast to see how Isaac may affect OK this week: http://www.okcfox.com/newsroom/wx/

Jeff



OG&E Cool Zones
07/30/12

Cool Zones

This program helps people who need a cool place to go to avoid the heat and prevent heat-related illnesses. Each summer OG&E-designated Cool Zones are available throughout their service territory. These facilities may include libraries, shopping centers and senior citizen centers. See a list of facilities in your area:

In OKC Metro: http://oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/OGE%20Cool%20Zones%206%2015%202012.pdf

Outside Metro: http://oge.com/community/CommunityPrograms/Documents/Cool%20Zones%20outside%20OKC%20area.pdf



April 30, 2012 NW OK Tornado "Outbreak"
05/03/12

5 tornadoes is not normally considered an outbreak across a big state like Oklahoma. But at least 4 twisters touched down in one evening across one county, Woodward.  Sadly in the city of Woodward, there were 3 fatalities, dozens of injuries, and a power outage caused the tornado sirens to not sound before the twister struck.

Check out this link to the Norman NWS for more info: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/graphicast.php?site=oun&gc=4

Jeff



2011: Review Of Oklahoma Weather Extremes
01/02/12

Check out this recap from the National Weather Service of more wild OK weather in 2011: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/fxc/oun/graphicast/image_full7.jpg


GET PREPARED FOR THE SNOW AND COLD!!!
12/19/11

Make sure you have the following supplies:

-Rock salt to melt ice on walkways

-Sand to improve traction

-Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

Prepare your home and family:

- Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment.

-Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

-Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.

-Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees. Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Prepare your car:

- Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car: Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing. Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean. Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels. Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes andrepair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability. Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well. Thermostat - ensure it works properly.Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level. Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.

- Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes: a shovelwindshield scraper and small broomflashlightbattery powered radioextra batterieswatersnack foodmatchesextra hats, socks and mittens

- First aid kit with pocket knifeNecessary medicationsblanket(s)tow chain or roperoad salt and sandbooster cablesemergency flaresfluorescent distress flag

Dress for the Weather:

- Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.

- Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Please stay safe and warm!  Jeff



HOTTEST JULY EVER!!!
08/06/11

July has set a record as the hottest month ever recorded in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Climatological Survey said Monday the average temperature in the state in July was 89.1 degrees, breaking the record of 88.1 degrees set in July 1954. The normal temperature is 81.6 degrees, according to the survey. Its records date to 1895.

The heat has been blamed for at least 12 deaths in Oklahoma this year, with nine other possible heat deaths pending.

~ Jeff



Tornado in Joplin
05/22/11

Today, Oklahoma saw some severe t'storms, but the worst weather was actually over in Missouri in Joplin.  A large multi-vortex tornado made a direct hit on the town this evening.  Several people were killed and many more were injured.  The St. John's hospital was sheared apart and the Joplin High School was destroyed.  Tons of cars and semi-trucks were flipped over on I44.  Several other stores were damaged in the area too.  Even though, Oklahoma was spared today, it looks like we could see the threat for tornadoes Monday and Tuesday this week, so be prepared!

~ Danielle



The Drought Contnues...
04/12/11

After an active Feb 2011 where we saw our share of major winter storms the weather pattern has taken a significant shift to bone dry here in the southern plains.

This past March only 0.03" of rain which went down as the 3rd driest on record.  Now, so far this April, there has been NO measurable rain or snow officially in OKC at Will Rogers World Airport and we're almost half way through the month!

Good news is that the severe weather season has started off slow but the bad news is that it's so dry we are now under extreme drought conditions.  Every time the wind blows is a potential huge wild fire situation.... and the wind blows a lot in Oklahoma.

But here is some more good news...I took a look back at past Aprils and Mays that followed an exceptional dry March.  It turns out that most times after a dry start to the Spring eventually the rain came.  Not all the time but most of the time.  Looking back does not mean anything really as far as weather predictions go but at least there is something to hope for.

In the meantime I'm enjoying the lack off all night severe storm coverage and spending more time with the family then I normally would this time of year.  And you get to watch all your favorite TV shows with less interruptions!  What a deal!

Jon


Drought Conditions
04/08/11

The Drought Conditions in Oklahoma have gotten worse.  Most of OK is now severe, but the metro and southwest Oklahoma is actually under an extreme drought. Since January we have only seen 2.22" of rain which puts us over 4 inches below where we should be.  We will really do need the rain.  The good news is we do have chances for rain today and late Saturday so hopefully we see it! We do need it.

~ Danielle



OKLAHOMA SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK
02/23/11

More safety tips for you...

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=swaw-lightning



OKLAHOMA SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK!
02/22/11

Each year, more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather related hazard.  Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice: Turn Around Don't Drown.

Check out the NWS Flood Awareness page:  http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=swaw-flashfloods

Flood safety is pretty easy...simply stay out of high water.  Sometimes it's unavoidable and the website above can help you in all situations.

Jeff



OKLAHOMA SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK!
02/21/11

The National Weather Service has deemed Feb 20 through Feb 26 Severe Weather Awareness Week.

It's that time again to make sure you are prepared for all severe weather situations and to practice your safety plans at home and work.  There's no better place to start than with tornado safety.  Over 80% of the annual number of tornadoes happen from March through June, with nearly 40% of those happening in the month of May. And while tornadoes can occur virtually anywhere in the United States, no place has more significant tornadoes than right here in Oklahoma .

So please take a few minutes and review this website with everything you need to know about OK twisters...and more:

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=swaw-tornadoes

Jeff



GET PREPARED FOR THE SNOW AND COLD!!!
01/07/11

Make sure you have the following supplies:

-Rock salt to melt ice on walkways

-Sand to improve traction

-Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment.

Prepare your home and family:

- Prepare for possible isolation in your home by having sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off. For example, store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.

- Winterize your home to extend the life of your fuel supply by insulating walls and attics, caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows, and installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic.

- Winterize your house, barn, shed or any other structure that may provide shelter for your family, neighbors, livestock or equipment.

-Clear rain gutters; repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on a house or other structure during a storm.

-Insulate pipes with insulation or newspapers and plastic and allow faucets to drip a little during cold weather to avoid freezing.

-Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure everyone in your house knows how to use them. House fires pose an additional risk, as more people turn to alternate heating sources without taking the necessary safety precautions.

- Learn how to shut off water valves (in case a pipe bursts).Know ahead of time what you should do to help elderly or disabled friends, neighbors or employees. Hire a contractor to check the structural ability of the roof to sustain unusually heavy weight from the accumulation of snow - or water, if drains on flat roofs do not work.

Prepare your car:

- Check or have a mechanic check the following items on your car: Antifreeze levels - ensure they are sufficient to avoid freezing. Battery and ignition system - should be in top condition and battery terminals should be clean. Brakes - check for wear and fluid levels. Exhaust system - check for leaks and crimped pipes andrepair or replace as necessary. Carbon monoxide is deadly and usually gives no warning.Fuel and air filters - replace and keep water out of the system by using additives and maintaining a full tank of gas. Heater and defroster - ensure they work properly.Lights and flashing hazard lights - check for serviceability. Oil - check for level and weight. Heavier oils congeal more at low temperatures and do not lubricate as well. Thermostat - ensure it works properly.Windshield wiper equipment - repair any problems and maintain proper washer fluid level. Install good winter tires. Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that to drive on their roads, vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.

- Maintain at least a half tank of gas during the winter season.

- Place a winter emergency kit in each car that includes: a shovelwindshield scraper and small broomflashlightbattery powered radioextra batterieswatersnack foodmatchesextra hats, socks and mittens

- First aid kit with pocket knifeNecessary medicationsblanket(s)tow chain or roperoad salt and sandbooster cablesemergency flaresfluorescent distress flag

Dress for the Weather:

- Wear several layers of loose fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.

- Wear a hat. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.

Please stay safe and warm!  Jeff




11/21/10

Well we are gearing up for Thanksgiving 2010 and it looks like an arctic blast is what is in store for us here in Oklahoma.  Right now we are forecasting high temperatures to barely make it in the 40s.  That made me wonder if this arctic blast is early or normal so I looked back at Novembers in the past 3 years.  It turns out in 2009, we saw a high temperatures of 44 on November 16 so that was our first shot of cold air.  Thanksgiving that year was not that bad at 59 degrees.  In 2008, Turkey day was unseasonably warm with a high of 70, but we did have 40 degree temperatures day on November 15.  Now, 2007 wow the whole week of Thanksgiving was cold with 5 days in a row of highs in the 40s.  I guess you could say this cold blast of air is pretty normal for this time of year so just get the winter stuff ready!

~ Danielle




11/07/10

We had a blast this past Saturday at Norman at the National Weather Festival.  Thank you to everyone that came out and met us.  Today was an interesting day weather-wise.  You may have noticed the winds were very strong out of the south anywhere from 20 to 30 mph and because of that, warm temperatures, and low humidities we saw some fires quickly spread in the metro today.  Tomorrow, Northwest Oklahoma is under a Fire Weather Watch so please be careful and hang on to your hats.  It looks like the winds will be fierce all week long, but at least we get rain chances beginning Wednesday which should lower fire potential.

~ Danielle




10/31/10

Come meet the FOX 25 StormWatch Weather Team this Saturday at the National Weather Center in Norman for the National Weather Festival!  We'll be taking some Q&A at 9:30 am then launching a weather balloon at 10:00 sharp...dress warm!

For more info on the weather festivities please check the NWS special website at....http://www.nationalweatherfestival.org

Hope to see you there!

Jeff




09/27/10

Well a cooler air mass has moved in to Oklahoma.  We started out today with lows in the 40s which our average low should be 58.  Today the metro only hit a high of 73 and our normal high temperature should be 80 so yes it was cool. Welcome to fall.  For those of you like me that like the warmer weather you are in luck because it looks like a warm up is coming just in time for the big OSU and OU football games!  Hopefully, this warming trend will continue, although I have a feeling fall temperatures are coming!

~ Danielle




08/29/10

The tropics are busy right now.  We have Hurricane Danielle, Hurricane Earl, and a third system that could become Tropical Storm Fiona within the next 24-48 hours.  Right now, Danielle is going out to sea and really not impacting the U.S. except for some rip currents.  Earl is a different story because it is projected to strengthen to a category 3 or 4 hurricane by mid-week and could make a direct hit on the east coast somewhere, so we will have to watch it carefully.  You can always go to this website to find the latest http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.  Also, today is the 5 year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.  Hopefully we never have a storm like that for awhile.

~ Danielle




08/09/10

The heat is on this summer!  Wow, it has been hot but not as it has been some years.  Believe it or not, the average first 100 degree day in Oklahoma City is July 9.  This year we didn't hit 100 degrees until July 31.  The most 100 degree days we have ever had in a year in OKC is 50 set back in 1980.  This year so far we have only had 6 100 degree days, so it has not really been that bad.  We will just have to see how long the heat sticks around for and if we get close to that record.  Just so you know the hottest temperatures ever recorded in OKC was 113 on August 11, 1936.  Hopefully we don't see that!

~ Danielle




06/27/10

We have our first name storm of the hurricane season.  Alex is now a tropical storm with winds of 45 mph.  It is moving right now to the west-northwest.  Right now, most of the models have it tracking to the west and making landfall as a category one hurricane in Mexico.  However, one of the models does have it taking a more northerly track and if that it is the case it could hit Texas and bring heavy rain to parts of OK for the holiday weekend.  We will have to watch this storm very closely!  To check the latest updates on Alex go here: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at1.shtml?5-daynl#contents

~ Danielle




06/05/10

Well, it was a record breaking day yesterday.  At the Will Rogers Airport, we received 7.62" making it the most rainfall ever in a 24 hour period.  After that you have to go back to September 22, 1970 where we got 7.53".  We saw lots of flash flooding and still have some flood warnings in effect now for areas near rivers and creeks.  On average for the month of June we should see 4.63" so we are well above that sitting at 8.02" for this month.  If we get more rain we could definitely make the top ten list for wettest Junes.  Right now, #10 is June 1999 where we saw 8.16" so we are just .14" away.  The wettest June is June 1989 where we saw 14.66".  We will just have to wait and see.

~ Danielle




05/23/10

The National Weather Service has put out a beginning report of the tornado outbreak on May19, 2010 only 5 days after another major out break and 3 days after a major hail storm that affected the metro and left many people with out power and windshields.  On May 19 there was at least 9 tornadoes, but thankfully only 3 minor injuries!  Way to go Oklahoma and taking the precautions during this outbreak.  For more info, go to this website: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/news/display_cmsstory.php?wfo=oun&storyid=52724&source=0

~ Danielle




05/14/10

The National Weather Service has completed preliminary surveys of the tornado outbreak that occurred this past Monday, May 10. So far, half of the twisters have a rating of EF-3 (111-135 mph).

There is much more work to be done, but you can follow their progress at this website...

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=events-20100510

Jeff




05/02/10

Well, I go to go on my first official storm chase since I moved to Oklahoma just about two weeks ago and wow can I just say it was one of the best experiences of my life.  My photographer Matt and I teamed up with Lanny Dean and his crew from extremechasetours.com for the big day.  It was Thursday April 22 that we all went out to the Texas Panhandle and got to see 5 tornadoes!  Wow, it was actually beautiful since the ones we saw were not hurting people just touching down in open fields.  I can't believe the number of chasers we saw that day!  It is so neat to see so many people excited by the weather.  Anyways, I am in the process of writing a story about my experience so tune into FOX25! It will air near the end of May! ~ Danielle



04/14/10

On this date 75 years ago, Oklahoma experienced Black Sunday.  It was a dust storm that blew sand & dust at 40 mph and caused day to turn into night.  People could not even see their own hands in front of their faces.  It hit Beaver at 4 PM and by 7:20 PM it was in Amarillo, TX.  It was later called the Dust Bowl and several songs were made about this event!

~ Danielle




04/05/10

The weather is about to get active again on Tuesday.  Warm and muggy air in place across Oklahoma as a storm system approaches from the west.  A dry line will move into central Oklahoma late Tuesday afternoon and spark scattered t'storms.  These t'storms could become severe with large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes.  As the evening goes on a cold front will drop in from the northwest and over take the dry line near OKC.  Thunderstorms will develop rapidly along the front as it moves southeast.  Damaging winds and hail will be the main threat with the squall line forming along the front.

At this time it's too early to tell where exactly the dry line and cold front will set up and therefore the exact timing and placement of the thunderstorms is in question.  There is a chance that the t'storms form just east of OKC and the OKC metro could be spared the severe weather.  On the other hand it's possible the dry line could set up west of OKC which would increase the threat for severe weather in OKC.  Time will tell.

Once the front moves by cooler weather will move in Tuesday night and Wednesday and the threat for severe weather will be over for the rest of the week!

Jon



03/11/10

The first tornado of the season in Hammon, OK was ranked an EF-2.  Yesterday, we really dodged the severe weather here in Oklahoma, but Arkansas got hit hard.  In fact, one person was killed.  Hopefully this is not a sign of an active tornado season! ~ Danielle  



03/08/10

We had our first tornado of the 2010 season.  It touched down today in Hammon, OK around 5:25 PM.  It was on the ground for about 20 minutes.  It destroyed the county barn, at least 5 houses, and took down lots of power lines.  If you have any pictures please send them to pics@okcfox.com!  Welcome to severe weather season! ~ Danielle



02/28/10

Well it is severe weather awareness week and what better way to finish it off then to introduce you to Skywarn Storm Spotters.  Tonight, I will introduce you to one of these people and also show you how you can become a spotter.  One thing I will say is they are not the same as storm chasers.  Spotters stay stationary and observe storms while chasers follow the storms around.  Watch tonight at 9 to find out more! ~ Danielle



02/22/11

The StormWatch Weather Team is ready for our 2010 severe weather season and we also want you to be as prepared as possible.  We'll keep dishing out tips all week but for a quick reference, please visit this site courtesy of our Norman NWS...

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=swaw




02/21/10

Since Severe Weather Awareness Week has started, I thought I would start by talking about what a Severe Thunderstorm Warning is and how it has changed for this upcoming severe weather season.  A Severe Thunderstorm Warning was issued in the past if a thunderstorm had 3/4" inch hail and/or winds sustained of 58 mph or greater.  However, it was debated that the hail size criteria may have been too small and that too many warnings were being issued that weren't necessarily warranted.  So as of January 5th, 2010 the National Weather Service changed the hail criteria to be 1" or the size of quarters.  I do think this change was a good one because now a Severe Thunderstorm Warning I think will be taken more seriously.  I mean hail the size of quarters can do some damage!  ~ Danielle



02/19/10

Did you know that next week is Severe Weather Awareness Week In Oklahoma?  Yes it is and it is time to prepare.  Over 80% of our yearly tornadoes happen from March to June, with May being the favorite month.  So have you put together your severe weather plan yet?  To learn more about severe weather and what to do go to the National Weather Service Awareness page at: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/?n=swaw.  Also, please continue to read our blogs as we (Jeff, Jon, and myself) will be blogging about severe weather next week! ~ Danielle



02/17/10

Wow, this winter has been pretty active for us in Oklahoma City.  Normally, Oklahoma averages 8.6" of snow every winter.  This year because of the Christmas Eve Blizzard we had the snowiest December on record of 14" breaking the previous record of 9" in 1914.  We also had the record storm total snowfall of 13.5" on December 24, 2009.  As for the total seasonal snowfall records right now we are tied for 6th Highest Total Snowfall with 20.4".  To break the record of 25.2" set back in the winter season of 1947-1948, we need 4.8" more of snow.  I wonder if we will break it?  By the way, we aren't the only area in the US seeing all-time snowfall records being broken.  Washington DC broke their all-time total snowfall of 54.4" in the winter of 1898-1899 from the last snow storm.  This season they have 55.9"!  Also, Baltimore, MD broke their record of 62.5" set back in the winter of 1995-1996 and now this season has 79.9"!  I think everyone is ready for spring now! ~ Danielle



01/27/10

So, what can we do now to get ready for winter weather?

Have a plan "

Each family should have a plan of how you will deal with a major winter storm. Think about it now before you really need to put the plan into action.

Keep up with the weather if you have travel plans "

With holiday travel season coming up, its more critical than ever to keep up with the weather, from home to your destination and everywhere in between. If winter precipitation is forecast, you might consider delaying the trip to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation. Even small amounts of freezing drizzle, sleet or snow can cause significant travel problems.

Develop and maintain an emergency supplies kit "

An winter storm safety kit will be critical to your safety should a major winter storm cause you to lose electrical power and/or water service. A three-day supply of essential supplies, including water and food for the family, batteries, flashlights and medical supplies, should be in place and checked frequently. This supply kit will be the same one you should have on hand during tornado season. In addition, if you have to travel this winter you should have an emergency survival kit in your vehicle as well.

Pay attention to NWS watches, warnings and advisories

NWS offices serving the people of Oklahoma work hard to get the word out as far in advance as possible when winter storms approach. Whether you get your information from television and radio, the Internet or weather radio, you should keep up to date on the latest forecasts and warnings.

Get a battery operated weather radio "

One of the items that should be in everyones disaster supplies kit is a battery operated weather radio. Weather radio is a service of your National Weather Service office and provides round the clock weather information, including all the latest winter weather information.

~ Jeff




01/14/10

Severe weather season not too far away!  Even though it's still in the heart of Winter it's not too early to get ready for Oklahoma's severe weather season.  Our biggest severe weather threat is generally from mid March through mid June.  This is when certain weather conditions come together for severe weather on a regular basis.  However, severe weather can strike any time of year and any time of day if and when the conditions come together.  Remember it was just last February 10 when a major tornado outbreak struck central Oklahoma.  We also experience a second but smaller spike in severe weather reports during the Fall.  It's the clash of the seasons when severe weather is most likely during those months when warm and cold air mix.

The National Weather Service has storm spotter training every year leading up to our main severe weather season.  The first session is coming up on January 26 in Coalgate.  Here is the 2010 list for severe weather training this year conducted by the folks at the National Weather Service.  Stay prepared, informed and safe this severe weather season! 

Jon


2010 Storm Spotter Training Schedule



01/10/10

Well, we have been under a cold snap the last couple of days.  In fact we have had lows in the single digits for 3 days straight with this morning being the coldest of a low of 6 degrees! The last time we saw the single digits at the airport was on January 28, 2009.  That is before this past Friday morning.  As far as three days in a row with lows in the single digits,  the closest I could find in the past 5 years was December 7,8,9 of 2005 but December 7th the low was 12 and only December 8th & 9th were in the single digits.  These cold conditions are definitely unusual for Oklahoma!  ~ Danielle



01/05/10

Arctic blast on it's way!

This all started in the Fall like every year cold air starts to build up in the Arctic regions of Alaska and Canada. But this year was a little different in that the jet stream dipped south bringing cold air south into the lower 48 states real early! October was the 2nd coldest on record here in OKC and the coldest in the central plains on record.  During November the jet stream, which is the upper level winds that control the weather, kept the real cold air north and we enjoyed mild weather conditions for most of the month.  However, during the month of December the jet stream changed again and waves of cold air swept south into the plains every few days.  The strongest surge of cold air occurred right before Christmas as as an intense low pressure system formed on the Arctic front as it was moving into Oklahoma. The result was a record setting snow storm with a foot of snow and 60 mph winds on Christmas eve shutting down OKC.  A true blizzard!

Now here we are in January watching yet another cold blast developing up in Canada.  But this one is different because it's not just a piece or chunk of the cold air dome breaking off as we've seen in the past.  It looks like the entire mass of cold air that has been sitting up in the Arctic since October is coming down this time.  It's the "Mother load' of cold air dropping south.  Not much moisture with it but expect the coldest air of the season so far arriving with this front Wednesday night and lasting into Saturday.  I have checked the current low records for the dates of Jan 7, 8 and 9th and they are -3, -4, and -2 respectively. This may not be a record cold outbreak coming but it will be close!  Stay tuned.

Jon




01/03/10

OK weather in 2009 was busy but not out of control compared to our active and crazy history.

The Norman NWS was a great partner and did a great job handling every significant weather event that came down the pike.  They were also nice enough to compile the following highlights for all of us...

  • The "Lone Grove" EF-4 tornado was the deadliest tornado on record in February in the state of Oklahoma (8 fatalities). It was also the first violent tornado (F4 or F5) on record in February in the state of Oklahoma. This tornado was the 7th deadliest tornado overall in Oklahoma since 1950, and the deadliest since May 3, 1999.
  • The "Lone Grove" EF-4 tornado was the deadliest tornado in the United States in 2009. Likewise, February 10, 2009 was the deadliest tornado day in the United States in 2009.
  • The February tornadoes that occurred this year were the first ones to occur in Oklahoma in the month of February since 2000.
  • February 2009 ties with February 1975 for the most tornadoes in Oklahoma during the month of February (6 tornadoes) since official records began in 1950.
  • Oklahoma had 34 tornadoes in 2009. This is well below the average of 54 tornadoes per year. It is the lowest yearly tornado total for the state of Oklahoma since 2006 (27), and only 3 of the 18 years from 1991-2008 had lower totals than this.
  • The 4 tornadoes in Oklahoma in May 2009 is the 3rd lowest monthly tornado total for May in Oklahoma since 1950 (tied with 1967 and 1958).
  • No tornadoes occurred in the 8 counties in western North Texas serviced by the NWS in Norman, OK for the first time since 1996. These counties include: Archer, Baylor, Clay, Foard, Hardeman, Knox, Wichita, and Wilbarger.
  • This was the third consecutive year that at least one tornado touched down in Oklahoma County; the county has experienced 6 tornadoes over the past three years.
  • 26.0 inches of snow observed by both the Woodward and Freedom cooperative observing sites during the March 27-28, 2009 blizzard set all time 24-hour snowfall records for the state of Oklahoma. The existing record was 23.0 inches in 24 hours.
  • 4th highest single day rainfall total in Oklahoma history - April 29, 2009 - Burneyville, Oklahoma - 12.42". According to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, "The deluge also eclipsed several return-period rain levels, such as the 500-year 1-day, 24-hour and 12-hour amounts."
  • In July, Freedom broke and Buffalo tied their all time daily record highs with temperature readings hitting 115 degrees. Buffalo, OK had the highest average daily temperature on July 10, 2009 in Oklahoma Mesonet history (dating back to 1994). That same date, 73 Oklahoma Mesonet stations had triple digit heat.
  • The heat of July 10th was a bit odd in that the Buffalo, OK Mesonet site was already exceeding 90 degrees at 6:00am, and it hit 107 degrees by 11:00am.

Fasten your seatbelts, 2010 is off to a busy start...stay tuned!

~ Jeff



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