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Four months ago today...

by Bryan Painter Published: September 18, 2013

Four months ago today storms were brewing in Oklahoma. Little did we know that would begin a period of severe weather that would be on more than off through the end of  May.

May 18 was a Saturday  and some areas of the state experienced severe weather. Sunday and Monday’s weather brought tornadoes and there was very little break before severe weather returned. It continued even as the month was coming to a close.

In many ways the storms have never ended. Rick Smith, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office, provided an example.

“There hasn’t been a single day since May that we haven’t been talking about, thinking about or dealing with the May tornadoes in some way,” Smith said., “There is – and will continue to be for a long time – an incredible amount of interest in the May tornadoes. Whether it’s media interviews, presentations at conferences and meetings, official NWS service assessments or just discussions within the office, we will be talking about the May tornadoes for a long time to come. And it’s not just dwelling in the past. We want to learn everything we can from those events so we can do better the next time.”

Weather notes:

– Following is the forecast for Oklahoma City from the National Weather Service, Norman Forecast Office:

Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. South southwest wind 5 to 10 mph increasing to 12 to 17 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph.

Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 73. South wind 8 to 11 mph.

Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. South southwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Thursday Night Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 1am. Increasing clouds, with a low around 70. South wind 3 to 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday A chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1pm, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 77. Light north wind becoming north northeast 11 to 16 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 23 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Friday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 58.

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 80.

Saturday Night Clear, with a low around 54.

Sunday Sunny, with a high near 82.

Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 60.

Monday Sunny, with a high near 83.

Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 63.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 86.

– Following is forecast for Tulsa from the National Weather Service, Tulsa:

Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 92. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. South wind 10 to 15 mph.

Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 92. South wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.

Thursday Night Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 1am. Low around 71. South wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday A 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly before 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 80. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph becoming north in the afternoon. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Friday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 57.

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 80.

Saturday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 56.

Sunday Sunny, with a high near 82.

Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 60.

Monday Sunny, with a high near 84.

Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 63.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 86.

– Following is the forecast for Lawton from the National Weather Service, Norman:

Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. South southwest wind 5 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.

Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. South southeast wind 6 to 11 mph.

Thursday A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 93. South southwest wind 5 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.

Thursday Night Showers and thunderstorms likely, mainly after 2am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 69. South wind 5 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Friday Showers and thunderstorms likely before 2pm, then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 82. Light and variable wind becoming north northeast 10 to 15 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Friday Night A 20 percent chance of showers before 8pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 58.

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 83.

Saturday Night Clear, with a low around 55.

Sunday Sunny, with a high near 86.

Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 58.

Monday Sunny, with a high near 87.

Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 62.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 87.

– Following is the forecast for Enid from the National Weather Service, Norman:

Today Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. South southwest wind 11 to 16 mph increasing to 18 to 23 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 32 mph.

Tonight Partly cloudy, with a low around 72. South wind 11 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.

Thursday A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 91. South wind 11 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Thursday Night Showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 8pm. Low around 67. South wind 12 to 17 mph becoming south southwest 6 to 11 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 24 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Friday Showers and thunderstorms before 8am, then a slight chance of showers between 8am and 2pm. High near 79. North wind 13 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Friday Night Partly cloudy, with a low around 55.

Saturday Sunny, with a high near 79.

Saturday Night Clear, with a low around 55.

Sunday Sunny, with a high near 81.

Sunday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 60.

Monday Sunny, with a high near 83.

Monday Night Mostly clear, with a low around 61.

Tuesday Sunny, with a high near 86.


by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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