The weather is never boring in Green Country. From winter and severe weather to the cold temperatures and blazing hot summers, we see it all.
As the year goes on, this story will expand will all the major weather events the FOX23 Severe Weather Team covers.
January kicked off the new month, new year and new decade on a busy note. Not only did we see severe weather but we also saw multiple days with snow and January 2020 ended up in the top five wettest Januarys on record!
Rainy and stormy conditions started the morning of the 10th with an unusually warm and damp air system over Green Country. The storms continued through the afternoon bringing lots of rain, damaging winds and even spawning a tornado in Cherokee County.
That tornado was located near Park Hill and was rated as an EF-1 with a path length of almost 6 miles!
After the stormy weather from the 10th (which was a Friday) the next day was MUCH colder and had some winter weather in the morning hours.
Most of the heavier snow fell in the early morning hours but as the day went on some snow showers continued.
Areas to the west of Tulsa ended up with the most snow in this event.
The next chance for snow came in on a Wednesday. Most of the area saw minimal snow amounts but there were some slick spots and areas with slightly more snow.
Overall, January was a very WET month. Typically during the month of January, Tulsa sees slightly over 1.5 inches of rain but in 2020, January saw nearly 5 inches of rain.
McAlester was the big winner in the FOX23 viewing area for the most rain with more than 6″ in January alone!
Even though Tulsa saw so much, rain it didn’t even break into the top 3 wettest Januarys!
As a note for this story, on February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil did NOT see his shadow, therefore forecasting an early spring...let’s see if it happens!
The next major weather event covered by the FOX23 Severe Weather team was the snow that came in on February 5th. More than 5 inches of snow fell in some parts of Green Country!
Check out this snow hulk that was made by a Broken Arrow family! He was over 10 feet tall!
Here are the top 10 snowfall totals from that day:
- 5.00 inches 4 miles Southeast Of Coweta
- 5.00 Inches in Henryetta
- 4.50 Inches in Bartlesville
- 4.00 Inches in Mannford
- 4.00 Inches 1 Mile South Of Henryetta
- 4.00 Inches 1 Mile East Of Morris
- 4.00 Inches in Morris
- 4.00 Inches in Skiatook
- 4.00 Inches in Broken Arrow
- 4.00 Inches 4 Miles East-Northeast Of Bixby
2020 definitely started off on a WET note. As mentioned above, January saw more than 5 inches of rain but going into February, the rain has continued.
Just looking at the first two months of the year - 2020 is sitting at the 11th WETTEST on record.
The wettest year (when looking again at the first two months) is 1949 when more than 9.25 inches of rain fell in Tulsa. Currently, we are sitting at 6.27 inches and still have a few days to go before February is over.
Other things that February saw included three mornings with temperatures in the teens!
So far, storm season has been relatively quiet in Green Country, but on March 29th, two tornadoes touched down in Green Country.
The first was in Olive in the EARLY morning hours (before 2 AM) as a line of strong to severe storms pushed through Green Country. This tornado destroyed an open-air barn, uprooted a tree and did some damage to a home, mobile home and another barn. It was rated an EF-0 tornado with estimated winds of 80-85 mph.
A second tornado occurred just before 10:30 AM in Okemah as more strong and severe storms moved from west to east. This one was rated an EF-1 by the National Weather Service as it destroyed a couple of outbuildings, damaged several trees and a home. Winds on this tornado were estimated at 90-100 mph. The path length was more than 2.5 miles and 225 yards wide.
The trend of wet weather continues through March bringing 2020 to be the 6th WETTEST on record when just looking at January through March.
So far, 2020 has seen lots of rain with nearly 12 inches in Tulsa so far with March alone seeing more than 5.50 inches!
March also brought a spread of temperatures. We saw temperatures drop below freezing twice in early March and again in mid-March. The warmest temperature measured was 94° back on March 26th.
With the continued rain throughout the month of April, Tulsa wound up receiving nearly 5-inches of rain, putting the month more than an inch ABOVE average for the month of April.
Adding that to the first three months of the year, Tulsa sits at 16.87 inches of rain for 2020 so far. That is more than 6-inches ahead of what is considered average/normal for Tulsa. This puts 2020 at the 8th wettest year when looking at just the first four months of the year.
The coldest temperature throughout the entire month was 30-degrees on the 18th when just 10 days before, the high was in the 90s!
- Tornadoes statewide: 13, 33rd least active May in Oklahoma
- Tulsa experienced it’s 17th coolest May on record, middle of the month is when temperatures were below average
- Rainfall was near average. Tulsa total rainfall: 4.81″
May is when Oklahoma (and Green Country) typically sees the most tornadoes throughout the year. On average, Oklahoma sees 24 tornadoes during the month of May, but last year (2019) saw the most on record with 105 tornadoes in the month of May.
As storms rolled through Eastern Oklahoma on Friday, May 15th, some of the storms were stronger and severe. One storm spun-up a quick tornado that damaged more than a dozen homes.
The National Weather Service surveyed the damage confirming a tornado happened near Keefeton in Muskogee County. It was rated an EF-1 tornado with winds between 100 and 110 miles-per-hour.
Storms rolled through Eastern Oklahoma during the afternoon and several of these storms produced tornadoes and damaging winds.
This day ended with four tornadoes in Eastern Oklahoma, three of which were in Delaware county.
EF-1 Watts Tornado
This tornado uprooted trees and snapped some of the large tree limbs. The damage was 120 yards wide with the path less than three-quarters of a mile long.
EF-0 Colcord Tornado
This tornado snapped some of the large tree limbs. The damage path was very brief and narrow.
EF-1 Colcord Tornado #2
This tornado uprooted trees in several places. The damage was 75 yards wide with the path just over one-quarter of a mile long. The National Weather Service did say it was possible this tornado path was longer, but much of the damage happened in an area that was inaccessible by road.
EF-0 Grove Tornado
This tornado snapped several tree limbs as it crossed several county roads. The damage was 300 yards wide with the path of 2.2 miles long.
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