The Oklahoma Weather Timeline provides a decade-by-decade listing of interesting or disastrous events that have occurred in Oklahoma's weather history.
2009-2010 Winter: With 23.5” of snow, Oklahoma City placed 5th on its list of total seasonal snowfall records.
2010 January 28-29: A strong winter storm brought significant ice and snow totals to much of the state along with significant power outages. Southwest and central Oklahoma were the hardest hit areas with radial ice accumulations up to 1.5”. The Eastern half of the state did not receive as much ice, but snowfall totals were in excess of 5” for much of Northeastern Oklahoma.
2010 March 20-21: Another late season winter storm brought heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures to the state as the start of spring was just around the corner. Totals in extreme Northeastern Oklahoma neared 10” during an already active winter season.
2010 May 10: A devastating, 56-tornado outbreak ravaged central and eastern Oklahoma, causing 3 fatalities and 117 injuries. Of the 56 confirmed tornadoes, 13 of these were considered significant, two of which were rated an EF-4.
2010 June 14: A historic rainfall event in Oklahoma City broke the all-time record for most precipitation in a single day. 7.62” of rain was recorded at the Will Rogers Airport, breaking the previous record of 7.53” set in 1970.
2010 September 8-10: The remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine brought large amounts of rainfall to the state of Oklahoma as well as a small, late-season tornado outbreak. 3 tornadoes were confirmed in southern Oklahoma as a result of this storm. In eastern Oklahoma, local rainfall totals exceeded 10” in less than 2 days.
2011 January 31-February 1: A record breaking blizzard made its way across Oklahoma, dumping 12.1” of snow in Oklahoma City and 14.0” of snow in Tulsa. The NWS Tulsa set new all-time records for a 24-hour snowfall event, calendar snowfall for any day, and maximum snowfall depth, among many others.
2011 February 8-9: A second winter storm brought another round of heavy snowfall and record-breaking cold temperatures to the state of Oklahoma. A new Oklahoma all-time record 24-hour snowfall was set in Spavinaw with 27” as well as an Oklahoma all-time record minimum temperature of -31 degrees set in Nowata.
2011 April 14: A state-wide severe weather outbreak produced 33 confirmed tornadoes, including an EF3 tornado in Osage county. Along with the numerous tornadoes, there were several reports of softball size hail and damaging straight line winds.
2011 May 23: The record for the state’s largest hailstone was broken on this day by a 6” diameter hailstone produced by a supercell thunderstorm near Gotebo, Oklahoma.
2011 May 24: A line of tornadic supercell thunderstorms developed over western Oklahoma and tracked northeast, leaving a trail of devastation in its path. During this severe weather event, 12 confirmed tornadoes were documented, 9 of these considered significant, including 2 EF-3, 2 EF-4 and 1 EF-5. During a close encounter with the EF-5 tornado, the El Reno Mesonet station observed a record-breaking 151mph wind gust, with 1-minute averaged speeds of 115mph.
2011 Summer: The state of Oklahoma experienced its hottest summer (June-August) on record, with a statewide average temperature of 86.9 degrees Fahrenheit. This easily broke the previous record of 85.2 degrees Fahrenheit set in 1934. The state also had its 3rd driest summer on record with an average rainfall total of just 4.15” for June-August.
2011 September 13: Triple digit heat finally ended and Oklahoma City finished its warm season with a record 63 days of temperatures at or above 100 degrees.
2011 November 7th: Oklahoma recorded its first November EF-4 tornado near Tipton.
2012 March: The warmest March on record occurred with a statewide average temperature of 59.4 degrees which is 9.2 degrees above normal. This was also the warmest season-to-date (Jan-Mar) with an average statewide temperature of 48.6 degrees, departing 5.9 degrees from normal.
2012 October 8: Earliest first freeze in Oklahoma City was recorded on this day with a low of 31 degrees. October was the only month in 2012 with below average temperatures.
2012 Annual: The state of Oklahoma recorded its warmest year on record with an average temperature of 63.0 degrees. The previous record of 62.8 degrees was set in the year 1954. The year ended with a very serious drought situation affecting the entire state of Oklahoma. The final drought monitor reported 37% of the state covered by Exceptional (D4) drought, which is up from 34% at the same time in 2011, and Extreme (D3) drought was affecting 95% of the state. The drought caused more than $400 million in damage to agriculture in 2012, which brought the two-year agricultural damage estimate to more than $2 billion.
2013 February 24-26: An upper level storm system dove southeast through the Great Basin into New Mexico, then intensified quickly as it lifted northeast through West Texas and the Red River Valley. Along the leading edge of the cold front, some severe storms were produced in southwest Oklahoma. Behind the front, extremely cold air allowed the liquid precipitation to change over to snow and sleet. The areas that felt the greatest impact of this winter storm were west and northwest Oklahoma. Official snow reports in northwest Oklahoma ranged from 10” to 25” in localized areas, snow drifts of up to 8 feet, and wind gusts exceeding 40mph. This storm caused widespread power outages and structural damage that included collapsed roofs and awnings.
2013 May 2: Unusually cold temperatures made their way to Oklahoma from the Pacific Northwest in early May. The cold temperatures behind the front allowed for liquid precipitation to transition to sleet and snow. May 2 is the latest observed snow in Tulsa since records began in 1900, as well as the only time snow has fallen in Tulsa in the month of May. The previous record for latest snow occurrence in Tulsa was April 18, 1953.
2013 May 19: 8 confirmed tornadoes occurred during the afternoon of May 19, 2013. Most notable was the long track EF-4 tornado that traveled from the eastern sections of Norman, north of Lake Thunderbird and continued on to Shawnee. This violent tornado caused extensive damage in the Shawnee area, leveling many homes, leaving only the concrete slabs they were built on.
2013 May 20: On this day, the Newcastle-Moore-South OKC area suffered yet another direct hit from an EF-5 tornado. This tornado was first observed at 1:56pm which became the first of 15 confirmed tornadoes for the day. The damage done by the EF-5 tornado was catastrophic; 212 were injured and 24 lost their lives, including 7 children. Briarwood Elementary School and Plaza Towers Elementary School were destroyed by this massive storm along with countless homes and business such as the Moore Medical Center.
2013 May 31-June 1: In a mere 11 days, central Oklahoma experienced two major tornado outbreaks. The second outbreak, occurring on May 31, was coupled with heavy rain that resulted in a flash flooding situation. Of the 19 confirmed tornadoes, the most notable was the EF-3 that tore through El Reno, claiming the lives of several motorists, including 3 veteran storm chasers. This tornado would go on record as one of the most powerful tornadoes sampled by mobile radar, as well as the widest known tornado on record. Later in the evening and into the overnight hours, a line of training supercells produced heavy rainfall and runoff that resulted in historic flash flooding. The Oklahoma City Mesonet stations recorded over 7” of total rainfall for this severe weather event.
2013 July 23-24: The Tulsa area experienced a derecho-type storm that produced wind gusts up to 80 mph. The Tulsa International Airport recorded a 76 mph wind gust along the leading edge of the storm, the highest wind speed ever recorded at this site. Widespread tree damage and downed power lines were a byproduct of this strong, severe storm, leaving nearly 100,000 without power. Rain totals of 3-5” caused localized flash flooding in eastern Oklahoma.
2013 July 25-26: Another moist, unstable airmass brought heavy rains that resulted in flash flooding, this time for central Oklahoma. The Will Rogers Airport recorded an amazing 1.09” of rainfall in just 7 minutes with a rain rate of 9.34” per hour. The Walters Mesonet station also recorded large hourly amounts as 3.36 inches was recorded at the site in a single hour.
2013 Annual: Oklahoma City saw its 2nd wettest year on record with an annual precipitation total of 52.78 inches. The wettest year on record is still 2007 with 56.97 inches.