KGOU

Weather and Climate

Weather in Oklahoma can be extreme and dangerous. KGOU is committed to providing resources for being aware of the potential for weather events, continuous coverage when severe weather strikes, and a big-picture view of weather trends and topics.

Our partners in weather coverage are the National Weather Service for forecasts, experts at the National Weather Center, located at the campus of the University of Oklahoma, retired television weatherman and now OU's Consulting Meteorologist-in-Residence Gary England, and for severe weather outbreaks, KOCO-TV's live continuous coverage.

Eh Pree (middle) and her brother, Gala Soe, at their family home in Guymon, Oklahoma.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Gala Soe and his family sit on their living room floor, watching his infant daughter play with bright plastic balls on a colorful mat. Portraits of family members line the walls of their trailer.

A storm that brought more than an inch of rain in an hour on Thursday afternoon has triggered flash flooding in places hit by the massive Camp Fire in Northern California, sending trees toppling and stranding motorists caught in high waters, according to officials.

Cal Fire spokesman Rick Carhart said the department had activated swift water rescue teams to save multiple people caught in flooded roads.

"We have responded to reports of a number of stranded vehicles in the roadways," Carhart said.

CBS journalist Lesley Stahl interviewed President Trump this weekend. She asked him about climate change. Here’s what happened next.(We know this excerpt is long. Hang in there.)

Lesley Stahl: Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?

The United Nations says “we’ll need to cut emissions by half before 2030 and go carbon-neutral by 2050,” according to a new report. At least, that’s how Wired summarized.

The governor of North Carolina said on Sunday that Hurricane Florence “has never been more dangerous than it is right now.” At least 17 deaths have been attributed to the storm.

Benji and Lori White in a pasture at their ranch near Putnam, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Benji White pulls into a field and honks his horn. Before the shifter hits park and the doors close behind him and his wife Lori, the silver Ford pickup is surrounded by dozens of Red Angus eager for a handout of cattle cake, a protein-dense pellet.

A new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine places the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria at 4,645. That’s far higher than the government’s official count: 64 people. The report, done by researchers at Harvard, follows other studies and reports that said over 1,000 people died.

A fence in a field near Hooker, Oklahoma on May 12, 2018.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Last month was the hottest May on record in Oklahoma. Preliminary data from the Mesonet indicates May finished with a statewide average of 74.6 degrees. That breaks the previous record of 74 degrees, which was set in May 1962.

National Weather Service

Marvin Haworth walks through a house frame that’s under construction in the Seiter Farms development in Moore, Oklahoma.

“You see these hurricane clips right there? You see one at every rafter in the house. They’re all tied to the wall, so that rafter cannot be pulled loose from the wall,” Haworth says as he points toward the connection between the frame’s walls and roof.

Architect Gary Armbruster of MA+ Architecture designed Canadian Valley Technology Center's new campus in El Reno.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Preschool students run tiny hands through a plastic tub of little blue beads that look like fish. They then scurry across the room to sing “The wheels on the bus” with their classmates.

It’s a bright, colorful, happy room here at the Canadian Valley Technical Center’s Child Development Center in El Reno, Oklahoma. And just a few steps down the hall, child care director Barbi Slimp opens the door to another room that’s just as cheerful.

Marvin Haworth stands outside a home his business is constructing in Moore, Oklahoma on May 14, 2018.
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Marvin Haworth walks through a house frame that’s under construction in the Seiter Farms development in Moore, Oklahoma.

“You see these hurricane clips right there? You see one at every rafter in the house. They’re all tied to the wall, so that rafter cannot be pulled loose from the wall,” Haworth says as he points toward the connection between the frame’s walls and roof.

National Weather Service

Severe weather is expected across much of western and central Oklahoma today, mainly in the afternoon, evening and overnight.

After one of the most destructive hurricane seasons ever, the names of four hurricanes are being retired. The World Meteorological Organization, the international body responsible for naming hurricanes, says it will no longer use Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate to name hurricanes. The organization says it retires names for hurricanes when "a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity."

José López doesn't have a deed for the little house at the edge of a dairy farm where he was raised and still lives — only the stories his grandfather told him about how the house came to be.

It began with an agreement between gentlemen 39 years ago. His grandfather, a foreman on the farm, needed a house for his recently divorced daughter, López's mother. So he asked the farm's owner if he could have a little corner of the sprawling estate to build her one.

"My grandfather worked on the farm for 44 years," López said, "and his boss was a good man. He said yes."

National Weather Service

Another round of freezing rain could add another layer of ice across Oklahoma on Thursday. It will be the third wave of freezing rain in as many days.

An international human rights group, Refugees International, has issued a scathing report on the U.S. response in Puerto Rico to Hurricane Maria. The group says "poor coordination and logistics on the ground" by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Puerto Rican government "seriously undermined the effectiveness of the aid delivery process."

Volunteer firefighters Christie Smith and David Thompson cool down after extinguishing a hotspot that flared east of Noble, Okla., in 2012. Scientists expect the risk of wildfire to increase as climate change-fueled droughts occur more frequently.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A new report from hundreds of experts and more than a dozen federal agencies is stark: Humans are likely responsible for the warmest period in modern civilization.

The consequences of this warming vary regionally, but scientists and researchers forecast significant effects in Oklahoma and other southern plains states.

The Puerto Rican effort to advance from response to recovery after Hurricane Maria continues. For some, water and electricity are still elusive. And that makes it hard to get back to normal — especially for children.

Stormwater engineer Bill Robison snaps a photo of a flood-prone house the city is trying to buy from its homeowner.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

In the aftermath of devastating hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, communities across the U.S. are rethinking ways to control flooding and reduce hazards that could be worsened by urbanization and climate change.

Writing such plans is a complex, politically challenging process, but one city in Oklahoma has emerged as a national model for creating a flood-control program that works.

Bill Robison pulls over and parks his city-issued car on a tree-lined street in east Tulsa.

National Weather Service

Four confirmed tornadoes struck Oklahoma on Saturday night, damaging a Norman casino and knocking over powerlines and trees.

An EF1 tornado hit the Riverwind Casino in Norman, where Gov. Mary Fallin was attending a Beach Boys concert. Fallin told News 9 she had to be evacuated twice, and saw torrents of rain pouring through the facility’s roof.

Riverwind Casino spokesperson Kym Koch says crews are still assessing the damage.

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