Weather and Climate | 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, and for severe weather outbreaks, KOCO-TV's live continuous coverage.

Ways to Connect

The record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is still setting records. The National Hurricane Center this week released its Tropical Cyclone Report for Hurricane Zeta, which hit southeast Louisiana on Oct. 28. After analyzing data gathered as the storm made landfall, NOAA meteorologists have upgraded Zeta from a Category 2 to a "major" Category 3 hurricane.

A Northern Cardinal perches on a bird feeder in Norman.
WildCare Foundation

People in Oklahoma weren’t the only ones affected by the recent record cold temperatures. So was the state’s bird population. 

Many Texans who faced days of near-freezing temperatures without electricity to keep warm were breathing a sigh of relief Friday as the lights and heat came back on. But millions are still without water, and the state's governor is warning that the crisis isn't over.

Plows drive down a road during a winter storm Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

Oklahoma City recently recorded 14-below zero, the coldest temperature for the city since 1899. Meteorologists say there may be a man made reason that contributed to the rare cold.   

The situations in Texas and parts of the midwest are growing dire. Winter storms and record-breaking cold are wreaking havoc on Texas’ electrical grid.

Volunteers in coastal Texas have rescued thousands of sea turtles from frigid waters and shores during the historic winter storm and are working creatively to house them as much of the region remains without power.

Updated 8:05 p.m. ET

Heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures across the U.S. have kept winter storm warnings in effect from Washington state to the Great Lakes into northern New England and a large section of the South that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

It's also left more than four million customers without power across the United States, including three million in Texas alone.

Federal scientists have confirmed that 2020 basically tied with 2016 for the hottest year recorded since 1880. The Earth is about 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer today than it was in the mid-20th century. Scientists warn that humans must keep global temperatures from rising more than about 3 degrees Fahrenheit in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

The Climate For The Fight Against Climate Change

Jan 25, 2021

President Joe Biden has sent clear signals that his administration will recenter climate change as a part of the White House’s policy agenda.

Adventurer Blair Braverman says just because it's getting cold in much of the country doesn't mean the outdoors can't still be a pandemic refuge.

Braverman — who wrote Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North — grew up in California, but she and her husband are now dogsled mushers in northern Wisconsin. She's completed the Iditarod and frequently goes out with the dogs for days at a time. The temperatures can dip to 50 below zero, and she says that sometimes it's so cold the thermometer bottoms out.

A Nor'easter brought heavy rain and snow to parts of New England, left more than a foot of snow in some places and knocked out power for more than 200,000 customers in the region.

Parts of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all recorded more than a foot of snow in some places, according to the National Weather Service. In Cape Cod, a wind gust of more than 73 mph was recorded.

When Donnel Baird was in his 20s, he had twin passions, and he didn't want to choose between them. "I vowed that I was going to try to combine my passion for Black civil rights with trying to do something about climate change," he says.

He's doing it now, with a company that he founded called BlocPower. He's attacking one of the seemingly intractable sources of America's greenhouse emissions: old residential buildings. And he's focusing on neighborhoods that don't have a lot of money to invest.

Updated at 1:45 a.m. ET Friday

A large part of Louisiana's coast is under a hurricane warning, as Hurricane Delta heads toward an expected landfall Friday afternoon. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, making it a Category 3 major hurricane, though it is expected to weaken somewhat before hitting land.

The National Hurricane Center's most recent advisory says Delta will bring a "life-threatening storm surge" up to 11 feet along portions of the Louisiana Gulf coast.

As firefighters work to contain dozens of wildfires raging across California and other western states, the Bobcat Fire is approaching nearly 100,000 acres, making it one of Los Angeles County's largest-ever blazes.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Thursday that while the impact of Hurricane Laura was less catastrophic than initially predicted, the storm significantly damaged many communities and remains a threat to parts of several Southern states still in its path.

FEMA officials said on a call with reporters that it is working to assess the damage and distribute aid to people in need — while taking precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit


Hurricane Laura has caused at least four deaths in Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards says. All of the deaths reported due to the Category 4 storm were caused by its powerful winds.

"All were related to trees falling on residences, which is in line with this being a major wind event," Edwards said in a news conference at 2 p.m. ET. He added that other deaths may be discovered as emergency crews perform rescue and recovery operations.

People in Jefferson County, Texas, where Hurricane Laura was projected to cause serious damage, are breathing a sigh of relief Thursday after the storm moved into Louisiana and points north without leaving too much impact on the community. Now many of those southeast Texas residents are working on cleaning up what little damage there is.

A cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert had blown across the Atlantic Ocean and made landfall in the southeastern United States late last week. Sections of the country experienced haze.

While the phenomenon seems concerning at first, it actually occurs every year. But this year’s cloud is unusually large and speculation held it might hurt air quality.


One Supreme Court decision sparked some of the most significant actions taken by the U.S. government to deal with climate change. 

Massachusetts vs. Environmental Protection Agency was decided in a 5 to 4 ruling in 2007. It laid the groundwork for many of former President Obama’s climate policies, including the Clean Power Plan.