Archive for May, 2006

We Are Not Alone
May 31, 2006

Just thought I’d show you a picture from Tuesday’s storms along the western Oklahoma border. We showed a lot of the storm pictures during our newscasts, but I got a bit of video of some of the other severe weather chasers we ran across. The group in the two white vans is a tornado vacation group.

Given the lack of severe weather the past few weeks and since our storm was the strongest storm around, it drew a lot of attention from severe weather chasers. Fortunately there’s lots of room for everyone in western Oklahoma.

Along the western border,

Chris Lee, Eyewitness News 5


Billion Dollar Disasters
May 31, 2006

I have run across a pretty cool website that lists Billion Dollar U.S. Disasters since 1980. From 1980 to 2005 there have been 67 events that resulted in at least $1 billion in damage (adjusted for inflation). The total cost of these 67 events is more than $500 billion. In 2005, there were 5 billion dollar babies:

  • Hurricane Wilma – $10 billion
  • Hurricane Rita – $8 billion
  • Hurricane Katrina – $100 billion
  • Hurricane Dennis – $2 billion
  • Midwest Drought – $1 billion

The hurricanes are well known, but the that drought affected Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin caused significant crop losses, mainly to corn and soybean.

The last Billion Dollar disaster that included Oklahoma was the 2002 Drought ($10 billion), although the worst of the drought was across the western U.S. Oklahoma is also mentioned with the tornado and hail outbreak of April 2001 ($1.9 billion), and the May 3rd tornadoes ($1.7 billion).

A Few Storms
May 30, 2006

It is a very warm and humid day with afternoon temperatures in the 80s and 90s. Thunderstorms have been popping up hit and miss across the state. More miss than hit. In any event, any storm that forms will have a shot at producing strong winds and some hail. The storms will move slowly so flooding could become a problem. There is a severe thunderstorm watch for parts of northern and western Oklahoma until 10 pm.

TONIGHT: Expect scattered storms this evening and overnight. It won’t be border to border coverage, but a few areas will have more than an inch of rain.

TOMORROW: Another day with a few thunderstorms, otherwise it will be warm and humid with highs mostly in the 80s.

THURSDAY: A cold front will move south of Oklahoma taking most of the storm chances with it. I would not rule out a lingering storm, but the best chance will be southern Oklahoma. Highs again will be in the 80s.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: Dry with a warming trend.


Two Days Till Hurricane Season
May 30, 2006

Hurricane Season starts Thursday, June 1st… in the Atlantic basin. Hurricane season has already started in the Pacific, and we have already had the first storm of the Season. Tropical Storm Aletta formed Saturday afternoon off the Mexican coast and has been moving away from land. Peak winds topped off at 45 mph, and the storm has already weakened to a tropical depression, and should totally dissipate over the next couple of days.

There is still fresh news concerning last year’s hurricane season. A re-analysis of Hurricane Emily revealed that the storm briefly had winds of 160 mph on July 16th, making it a category 5 hurricane. This re-writes some of the records for last year:

  • The most category five storms (Emily, Katrina, Rita, Wilma)
  • Emily is the earliest Cat 5 storm to form.
  • Emily is the only Cat 5 storm during the month of July.

Emily struck Grenada as a category one storm. It became a cat 5 storm about 100 miles of Jamaica, then weakened before hitting Mexico south of Cozumel as a 135 mph category 4 storm. After crossing the Yucatan, Emily hit Mexico a second time about 75 miles south of Brownsville as a 125 mph category 3 storm.

A Few Storms, Not As Hot
May 29, 2006

Happy Memorial Day! I hope your holiday is going well. We have an opportunity for a few thunderstorms the next few days. With the increased chance of rain, temperatures won’t be as high as what we have been experiencing. All in all, it looks like the next few days will have a few rounds of storms, and it won’t be as hot.

TONIGHT: Storms will fire along a slow moving cold front in northwest Oklahoma. Some large hail and strong winds can be expected with the strongest storms, and heavy rainfall is also possible. The storms should move southeast overnight into central Oklahoma.

TOMORROW: The front will remain draped across northern Oklahoma so thunderstorm chances will remain in the state. The highest chances will be early in the morning, then again later in the afternoon. With more clouds and a few storms around, highs will be mostly in the 80s.

WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY: The front will continue to slowly move south making it to the Red River by late Wednesday. We’ll still have a few storm opportunities, and again, a few severe storms can be expected on Wednesday with rain chances decreasing by Thursday. Afternoon temperatures will be in the 80s both days.

FRIDAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND: The ridge begins to build again, and that means a return to dry and very warm weather. Highs will generally be in the 80s, but a few 90s will begin to show up by Sunday.

NEXT WEEK: Hot and dry with highs in the 90s much of the week.


A Little Rain
May 29, 2006

A few showers and thundershowers developed this morning just west of the metro. They only lasted a few hours, and moved very slowly, but it is a sign of things to come. A cold front will move into the state today, and will provide a focus for storms later this afternoon. Thunderstorms will develop in the northwest and could become severe. Between 4pm and 9pm, the main threat with the storms will be large hail in northwest Oklahoma. These storms will move southeast, and could move into central Oklahoma late tonight. After 9pm, the main threat from these storms will be strong straight line winds.

The chance for rain and thunderstorms will continue for a few days, mainly at night and in the early morning. Temperatures will also cool off a bit by mid week.

Have a great holiday!

Finally, Some Changes On The Way
May 29, 2006

A few storms are currently in the Texas panhandle. They’re moving northeast at 20 mph and may make it into southwest Oklahoma around 8:00 pm. A severe thunderstorm watch covers western Oklahoma until 11:00 pm, but I don’t expect widespread severe weather.

Thunderstorm chances will be increasing Monday night across Oklahoma as a cold front moves into northern parts of the state. As the front drifts south, storm chances will remain through mid-week. With the increased rain chances, temperatures will be lower with highs in the 80s Tuesday into next weekend.

Have a great Memorial Day!


Storms Poised to hit OK again….
May 28, 2006

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH has been issued until 11pm for far Western Oklahoma.

Storms are now developing from Perryton to Turkey, TX. These storms will be at the Oklahoma border by 5:30pm.

The threat of storms will continue the next few days for several different reasons:

1) Dryline (Tonight)
2) Cold Front & Dry Line (Monday Evening)
3) Cold Front, Dryline & any outlow boundaries left by storms from the previous day (Tuesday/Wednesday)

The complexity of exact timing and location of storms will become more muddled after Monday night. Stay tuned each day…..

Rick will be with you at 10pm


Typical Memorial Day
May 28, 2006

What do I mean by saying “typical”? Well, every Memorial Day weekend I have been alive (it seems) there has been a threat of rain.

Back home in McAlester, this is the weekend of the Italian Festival. This was always a big event when I was younger. My mom and dad were once crowned the Re and Regina (King and Queen) of the Italian Festival. It always rained or a threat of rain was in the forecast. Honestly, I didn’t like the weatherman this time of the year. He always “made it rain” during the festival. Who knew I was to become what I despised?!

That being said, I know I am not too popular with some of you reading this. There IS a threat of storms (some severe) as early as Memorial Day night. I think most of the weekend for most of us will stay just hot and dry.

Highs today in the 90s with a chance of storms along the dryline out in Western Oklahoma this afternoon.

Have a safe holiday and don’t hate the messenger!

Steve Carano

Storms in Western OK
May 28, 2006

A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH is in effect for Western Oklahoma until 11pm. 1 storm near Cheyenne produced winds near 60mph but has since dissipated.

Other storms are in Western North Texas. These could make a run to far Southwest Oklahoma later but most of the severe weather should stay in Texas.

The metro will stay dry tonight.

See you bright and early at 7am for the Sunday morning news….