August 4, 2012

Historic Heat Wave in Oklahoma


Sometimes, those of us who live here don't think that the rest of the country fully understands what it can be like during the summer in Oklahoma City.  My friend Bubba in Alabama sent me this , so I thought I'd pass it on.  A 'cold front' is supposed to come through tomorrow or Monday, bringing with it frigid temps in the low 100's.

I won't detract from the import of these figures with pictures, sarcasm, or how-to garden survival tips.  The numbers speak for themselves and they are truly frightening.

To all of you out there suffering from drought, extreme heat, or extreme weather of any kind....we feel your pain.



Historic heat wave in Oklahoma

A historic heat wave and drought fueled raging fires on Friday in Oklahoma. The fires destroyed at least 65 homes, forced multiple evacuations, and closed major roads. Oklahoma City had its hottest day in history, hitting 113°, tying the city's all-time heat record set on August 11, 1936. The low bottomed out at 84°, the warmest low temperature ever recorded in the city (previous record: a low of 83° on August 13, 1936.) Oklahoma City has now had three consecutive days with a high of 112° or higher, which has never occurred since record keeping began in 1891. With today's highexpected to reach 113° again, the streak may extend to four straight days. Yesterday was the third consecutive day with more than a third of Oklahoma experiencing temperatures of 110° or higher, according to readings from the Oklahoma Mesonet. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) declared a "Critical" fire weather day over most of Oklahoma yesterday, due to extreme heat and drought, low humidities, and strong winds. Between 4 - 5 pm CDT Friday, Oklahoma City had a temperature of 113°, a humidity of 12%, and winds of 14 mph gusting to 25 mph. Another "Critical" fire weather day has been declared for Saturday. A cold front approaching from the northwest will bring winds even stronger than Friday's winds, and Oklahoma will likely endure another hellish day of extreme heat, dryness, and fires.

Only comparable heat wave: August 1936
The only heat wave in Oklahoma history that compares to this week's occurred in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the hottest summer in U.S. history. Oklahoma City experienced three days at 110° that summer, and a record streak of 22 straight days with a temperature of 100° or hotter. Those numbers are comparable to 2012's: three days at 110° or hotter, and a string of 17 consecutive days with temperatures of 100° or hotter. It's worth noting that Oklahoma City has experienced only 11 days since 1890 with a high of 110° or greater. Three of those days were in 2011, three were in 2012, and three were in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936. Clouds moved in over Tulsa, Oklahoma yesterday, holding down the high temperature to just 107°, ending that city's 3-day streak of 110°+ days. The only longer streak was 5 consecutive days on August 9 - 13, 1936. 

3 comments:

  1. We've been having historic temperatures in NW Alabama without rain. I've given up on a vegetable garden. I've lost several native azaleas and a couple of dogwoods and a beautiful variegated Acer Osakazuki japanese maple. Yesterday our area had flood warnings from a thunderstorm. I felt silly going out watering my zinnias I planted as I only got a sprinkle. Most of my rain has been in bunches in a couple of days, which doesn't have time to soak in & then weeks without. It's a sad time for farmers all across the country.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Linda: I've been thinking about you a lot during the past few days. Words just can't convey the thoughts. Our heat and extreme drought in June and July were horrid, so I empathize with you. Please take care and stay cool. This certainly has been a challenging summer. Again words seem inadequate. Hugs and prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hasn't rained in Lincoln Nebraska for six weeks. Was just in OK, where I was born, and boy is it awful.

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment! I love to hear from you!