The Oklahoma Mesonet is a network of environmental monitoring stations designed to measure the environment at the size and duration of mesoscale weather events. The phrase "mesonet" is a portmanteau of the words mesoscale and network. In meteorology, “mesoscale” refers to weather events that range in size from approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to 150 miles (240 km) and can last from several minutes to several hours. Mesoscale events include thunderstorms, wind gusts, heat bursts, and dry lines. Without densely spaced weather observations, these mesoscale events might go undetected. In addition to surface weather observations, Oklahoma Mesonet stations also include environmental data such as on insolation and soil conditions, and some sites are co-located with wind profilers.
The network consists of 121 automated stations covering Oklahoma and each of Oklahoma's counties has at least one station. At each site, the environment is measured by a set of instruments located on or near a 10-meter (33 ft)-tall tower. The measurements are packaged into “observations” and transmitted to a central facility every 5 minutes, 24 hours per day, every day of the year.
Oklahoma Mesonet is a cooperative venture between Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma (OU) and is supported by the taxpayers of Oklahoma. It is headquartered at the National Weather Center (NWC) on the OU campus.
Observations are available free of charge to the public.
|Commissioned||January 1, 1994|
|Headquarters||National Weather Center in Norman, OK|
|Partners||University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University|
According to the Tulsa World, creation of the Oklahoma Mesonet resulted from the inability of emergency management officials to plan for the May 26–27, 1984 flood that killed 14 people in the Tulsa area. The 1984 flood demonstrated that emergency managers could not receive accurate and adequate data quickly enough about the progress of flooding from airport radars, updated hourly. The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University collaborated with the Climatological Survey and other public and private agencies to create the Oklahoma Mesonet. This system collects weather information (e.g., wind speed, rainfall, temperature) every 5 minutes from 121 Mesonet stations throughout Oklahoma. Emergency planners can now monitor up-to-date weather information in advance of the arrival of an approaching storm. The article quoted an official of the Tulsa Area Emergency Management as saying that his staff uses the Oklahoma Mesonet every day.
The Oklahoma Mesonet consists of 121 remote stations across Oklahoma with at least one station in each of Oklahoma's 77 counties. Each Oklahoma Mesonet station is contained within a 10 m × 10 m (33 ft × 33 ft) plot of land. Stations reside on a variety of locations including: University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University Research land, academic and foundation sites, federal/state/city land, airports, and privately owned property.
Each site is visited at least three times per year during one of the Spring, Summer, and Fall passes. Sites are also visited by site technicians when there is a problem with a sensor or with communications. Additionally, sites are visited by a vegetation technician to ensure that the station is not overgrown by native plants. All sites generate their own electricity from solar panels and communicate mainly via radios on the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (OLETS).
The Oklahoma Mesonet utilizes a variety of meteorological instruments to collect its observations. Observations are collected through a data logger within an enclosure and transmitted back to the National Weather Center for quality assurance, archival, and public dissemination.
The following are records measured by the Oklahoma Mesonet since January 1, 1996.
The Oklahoma Mesonet produces many products public use. Every five minutes, maps of all of the meteorological variables are updated to show the latest observations. Users can also look at time series plots of a station (called meteograms) over a given period of time. Quality assured data files are available to be downloaded. Historical data can be plotted using the Oklahoma Mesonet's Long Term Average tools.
The Oklahoma Mesonet runs a variety of programs to assist the public.
The 2014–15 North American winter refers to winter in North America as it occurred across the continent from late 2014 through early 2015. While both the meteorological and astronomical definitions of winter involve the onset of winter occurring in December, many places in North America experienced their first wintry weather during mid November. A period of below-average temperatures affected much of the contiguous United States, and several records were broken. An early trace of snowfall was recorded in Arkansas. There were greater accumulations of snow across parts of Oklahoma as well. A quasi-permanent phenomenon referred to as the polar vortex may have been partly responsible for the cold weather. Temperatures in much of the United States dropped 15 to 35 °F (8.3 to 19 °C) below average by November 19 following a southward "dip" of the polar vortex into the eastern two-thirds of the country. The effects of this dip were widespread, bringing about temperatures as low as 28 °F (−2 °C) in Pensacola, Florida. Following a significant snowstorm there, Buffalo, New York received several feet of snow from November 17–21. During the 2014–15 winter season, Boston broke its all-time official seasonal 107.6-inch (2.73-meter) snowfall record from the winter of 1995–96, with a total snowfall record of 108.6 inches (2.76 m) as of March 15, 2015.Many records for snowfall and temperature were broken, many for the month of February, with every state east of the Mississippi River being colder than average, some for the entire winter. However, this meteorological winter was the 19th-warmest of the past 120 winters over the lower 48 states, largely due to persistent warm weather in the West.While there is no well-agreed-upon date used to indicate the start of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, there are two definitions of winter which may be used. Based on the astronomical definition, winter begins at the winter solstice, which in 2014 occurred on December 21, and ends at the March equinox, which in 2015 occurred on March 20. Based on the meteorological definition, the first day of winter is December 1 and the last day February 28. Both definitions involve a period of approximately three months, with some variability.Edwin Kessler
Edwin Kessler III (December 2, 1928 – February 21, 2017) was an American atmospheric scientist who oversaw the development of Doppler weather radar and was the first director of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL).Flooding and flood control in Tulsa
The combination of topographic and climatic factors in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area have frequently caused major flash flooding, especially near streams that normally drain the area. The city was founded atop a bluff on the Arkansas River. Thus, elevation protected most of the inhabitants and their possessions from damage when the river flooded. However, by the turn of the 20th Century the population growth had moved closer to the river, and the flatlands west of the Arkansas had begun to develop as well. The floods typically caused widespread property damage and sometimes death. By the 1920s, seasonal floods of the Arkansas began to cause serious damage and loss of life. Since its founding, city leaders had responded to such events by simply rebuilding and replacing the property that had been destroyed in situ. Not until 1970 did the city government begin developing strategies to mitigate floods or at least minimize property damage and prevent loss of life. This article describes some of the more notable floods in Tulsa, then the mitigation and control strategies that evolved from them.
Floods continued to endanger life and property, as the city encroaches on the surrounding farm land. City authorities decided that then-existing Federal guidelines were inadequate to control the local situation and began to develop more stringent requirements. The Tulsa plan has evolved and now affects the entire watershed, including other communities in the Tulsa metropolitan area.
Although floods cannot be totally prevented, the Tulsa flood control program has been recognized as a success by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and several other organizations. The control efforts will go on as long as people live in vulnerable areas.Heat burst
In meteorology, a heat burst is a rare atmospheric phenomenon characterized by gusty winds along with a rapid increase in temperature and decrease in dew point (moisture). Heat bursts typically occur during night-time and are associated with decaying thunderstorms.Although this phenomenon is not fully understood, it is theorized that the event is caused when rain evaporates (virga) into a parcel of cold, dry air high in the atmosphere- making the air denser than its surroundings. The parcel descends rapidly, warming due to compression, overshoots its equilibrium level and reaches the surface, similar to a downburst.Recorded temperatures during heat bursts have reached well above 40 °C (104 °F), sometimes rising by 10 °C (18 °F) or more within only a few minutes. More extreme events have also been documented, where temperatures have been reported to exceed 50 °C (122 °F). However, such extreme events have never been officially verified. Heat bursts are also characterized by extremely dry air and are sometimes associated with very strong, even damaging, winds.Hurricane Paine (1986)
Hurricane Paine contributed to one of the most significant flooding events in Oklahoma history. The 16th tropical storm and 8th hurricane of the 1986 Pacific hurricane season, Paine formed on September 28 off the southeast coast of Mexico. It moved around a ridge, later turning to the north and brushing the Baja California Peninsula. By that time, Paine had attained peak winds of 100 mph (155 km/h), but it weakened slightly before hitting the Mexican state of Sonora. The remnant moisture combined with a cold front to produce heavy rainfall in the south-central United States.
In Mexico, Paine produced rainfall along much of the coastline, with maxima in inland Oaxaca, Jalisco, and Sonora where it moved ashore. Prior to the arrival of the remnants of Paine in the United States, there was an extended period of heavy rainfall, which caused at least 10 deaths, forced thousands of people from their homes, and resulted in heavy flooding damage. The moisture from Paine produced the highest daily rainfall for any station in Oklahoma. Severe river flooding occurred along the Osage and Arkansas Rivers. The overall flooding event caused $350 million in damage, of which half came from crop losses.January 31 – February 2, 2011 North American blizzard
The January 31 – February 2, 2011 North American winter storm, also called the 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard, was a powerful and historic winter storm, situated around the United States and Canada on Groundhog Day. During the initial stages of the storm, some meteorologists predicted that the system would affect over 100 million people in the United States. The storm brought cold air, heavy snowfall, blowing snow, and mixed precipitation on a path from New Mexico and northern Texas to New England and Eastern Canada. The Chicago area saw 21.2 inches (54 cm) of snow and blizzard conditions, with winds of over 60 mph (100 km/h). With such continuous winds, the Blizzard continued to the north and affected Eastern and Atlantic Canada. The most notable area affected in Canada was Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. Blizzard conditions affected many other large cities along the storm's path, including Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, El Paso, Las Cruces, Des Moines, Milwaukee, Detroit, Indianapolis, Dayton, Cleveland, New York City, New York's Capital District, and Boston. Many other areas not normally used to extreme winter conditions, including Albuquerque, Dallas and Houston, experienced significant snowfall or ice accumulation. The central Illinois National Weather Service in Lincoln, Illinois issued only their fourth Blizzard Warning in the forecast office's 16-year history. Snowfall amounts of 20 to 28 inches (51 to 71 cm) were forecast for much of Northern and Western Illinois.
An ice storm ahead of the winter storm's warm front also brought hazardous conditions to much of the American Midwest and New England, and many areas saw well over 1 in (2.5 cm) of ice accumulation. Numerous power outages, flight cancellations, airport closures, road closures, roof collapses, rail and bus cancellations, mail stoppages, and school, government, and business closures took place ahead of and after the storm; many of these disruptions lasted several days. Several tornado touchdowns were reported in Texas and a tornado watch was issued for parts of Alabama, ahead of the cold front in the warm sector of the storm. In addition, thundersnow was recorded at some locations, including downtown Chicago. At least 36 deaths were reported to be related to the storm, many of them in shoveling or auto-related incidents, and the total damages were US $1.8 billion.List of United States tornadoes from August to October 2018
This page documents all tornadoes confirmed by various weather forecast offices of the National Weather Service in the United States during August to October 2018. Tornado counts are considered preliminary until final publication in the database of the National Centers for Environmental Information.List of United States tornadoes from November to December 2011
This is a list of all tornadoes that were confirmed by local offices of the National Weather Service in the United States in November and December 2011.List of microbursts
This is a list of notable microbursts.Mesonet
In meteorology (and climatology), a mesonet, portmanteau of mesoscale network, is a network of (typically) automated weather and environmental monitoring stations designed to observe mesoscale meteorological phenomena. Dry lines, squall lines, and sea breezes are examples of phenomena that can be observed by mesonets. Due to the space and time scales associated with mesoscale phenomena, weather stations comprising a mesonet will be spaced closer together and report more frequently than synoptic scale observing networks, such as ASOS. The term mesonet refers to the collective group of these weather stations, and are typically owned and operated by a common entity. Mesonets usually record in situ surface weather observations but some involve other observation platforms, particularly vertical profiles of the planetary boundary layer (PBL).The distinguishing features that classify a network of weather stations as a mesonet are station density and temporal resolution. Depending upon the phenomena meant to be observed, mesonet stations utilize a spatial spacing of 1 to 40 kilometres (0.62 to 24.85 mi) and report conditions every 1 to 15 minutes. Micronets (see microscale and storm scale), such as in metropolitan areas such as Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Birmingham UK, may be even denser in spatial resolution.National Weather Center
The National Weather Center (NWC), on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, is a confederation of federal, state, and academic organizations that work together to better understand events that take place in Earth's atmosphere over a wide range of time and space scales. The NWC partners give equal attention to applying that understanding to the development of improved observation, analysis, assimilation, display, and prediction systems. The National Weather Center also has expertise in local and regional climate, numerical modeling, hydrology, and weather radar. Members of the NWC work with a wide range of federal, state, and local government agencies to help reduce loss of life and property to hazardous weather, ensure wise use of water resources, and enhance agricultural production. They also work with private sector partners to develop new applications of weather and regional climate information that provide competitive advantage in the marketplace.Nowata, Oklahoma
Nowata (Lenape: Nuwatu, Nuwi ta ) is a city and county seat of Nowata County, Oklahoma, United States. The population was 3,731 at the United States Census, 2010, a 6.0 percent decline from 3,971 at the 2000 census. The area where it was established was then part of the Cherokee Nation in Indian Territory.Oklahoma State University–Stillwater
Oklahoma State University (also referred to informally as Oklahoma State, OKState, and OSU) is a public land-grant and sun-grant research university in Stillwater, Oklahoma. OSU was founded in 1890 under the Morrill Act. Originally known as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College (Oklahoma A&M), it is the flagship institution of the Oklahoma State University System. Official enrollment for the fall 2010 semester system-wide was 35,073, with 23,459 students enrolled at OSU-Stillwater. Enrollment shows the Freshman class of 2012 was the largest on record with 4,298 students. OSU is classified by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with highest research activity.The Oklahoma State Cowboys and Cowgirls' athletic heritage includes 52 national championships, a total greater than all but three NCAA Division I schools in the United States, and first in the Big 12 Conference. Students spend part of the fall semester preparing for OSU's Homecoming celebration, begun in 1913, which draws more than 40,000 alumni and over 70,000 participants each year to campus and is billed by the university as "America's Greatest Homecoming Celebration."Tornado outbreak sequence of May 21–26, 2011
The tornado outbreak sequence of May 21–26, 2011 was one of the largest tornado outbreaks on record which affected the Midwestern and Southern regions of the United States. Most of the tornadoes developed in a corridor from Lake Superior southwest to central Texas; isolated tornadoes occurred in other areas. An especially destructive tornado destroyed one-third of Joplin, Missouri, resulting in 158 deaths and over 1,000 injuries. The Joplin tornado is the deadliest in the U.S. since April 9, 1947, when an intense tornado killed 181 in the Woodward, Oklahoma area. Tornado-related deaths also occurred in Arkansas, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oklahoma. Overall, the tornado outbreak resulted in 184 deaths, 6 of those non-tornadic, making it second only to the 2011 Super Outbreak as the deadliest since 1974, and the second costliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history behind that same April 2011 outbreak, with insured damage estimated at $4–7 billion.Tropical Depression Nineteen-E (2018)
Tropical Depression Nineteen-E was a weak and short-lived tropical cyclone that caused flooding throughout Northwestern Mexico and several states within the United States. Nineteen-E originated from a tropical wave that left the west coast of Africa on August 29 to 30, 2018. It continued westward, crossed over Central America, and entered the northeastern Pacific Ocean by September 7. It then meandered to the southwest of Mexico for the next several days as it interacted with a mid-to-upper level trough. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continued to track the disturbance for the next several days as it traveled northward. A surface trough developed over the Baja California peninsula on September 18. Despite disorganization and having close proximity to land, the disturbance developed into a tropical depression in the Gulf of California on September 19, after having developed a circulation center and more concentrated convection. The system peaked with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph (55 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 1002 mbar (29.59 inHg).
One day after forming, the depression quickly deteriorated and dissipated after making landfall in Sonora. Overall, the depression affected eleven Mexican states, with torrential rainfall and flooding ensuing in Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, and Sonora. Thirteen individuals were killed in Chihuahua, Sinaloa, and Sonora, and over $40 million USD in agricultural losses were recorded. Excessive rainfall led to the inundation of at least 300,000 structures in Sinaloa. Flood damage there is estimated to be in the hundreds of millions (USD). Remnant moisture from Nineteen-E led to severe flooding within the U.S. states of Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas and the death of one person. Damage estimates totaled about $250 million (USD) in the aforementioned states. Minor damage was also reported in New Mexico.Weather station
A weather station is a facility, either on land or sea, with instruments and equipment for measuring atmospheric conditions to provide information for weather forecasts and to study the weather and climate. The measurements taken include temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind speed, wind direction, and precipitation amounts. Wind measurements are taken with as few other obstructions as possible, while temperature and humidity measurements are kept free from direct solar radiation, or insolation. Manual observations are taken at least once daily, while automated measurements are taken at least once an hour. Weather conditions out at sea are taken by ships and buoys, which measure slightly different meteorological quantities such as sea surface temperature (SST), wave height, and wave period. Drifting weather buoys outnumber their moored versions by a significant amount.
Earth-based meteorological observation systems and weather stations