Oklahoma has its warmest spring on record, according to Oklahoma Climatological Survey

21 of the last 26 months in Oklahoma have been warmer than normal.
by Bryan Painter Published: May 31, 2012

There's no doubt.

Spring 2012, which started March 1 and ends Thursday for record purposes, will mark the second of the past four seasons in Oklahoma to finish as the warmest in terms of statewide average temperature for Oklahoma on records dating to 1895.

Going into Wednesday, the statewide average temperature for this spring was 65.1 degrees, which was 6 degrees above the norm. The record for spring was 62.9 degrees in 2006.

This warm stretch can be attributed to a persistent upper-level air pattern that has kept much of the cold air bottled up near the Arctic Circle or deflected to the east of the U.S., said Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

And with 21 out of the past 26 months having been warmer than normal, and coming off the warmest summer (2011) and spring (2012) on record, it would seem risky to bet against this summer being at least warmer than normal, he added.

“The latest indicators are all pointing towards another hot one,” he said. “After the summer, the large-scale climate indicators are not quite as strong, and the bets get much more risky. One thing we are fairly certain of, however, is that if the summer ends up dry, it will more than likely end up hot as well.

“One factor we have in the works is a possible El Nino event developing in the Pacific.”

Should that occur, it could lead into a below-normal cool season in terms of temperatures. That could also lead to a wetter-than-normal cool season.

Other than that, there is little indication of our future precipitation patterns.

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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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