How often are earthquakes felt in Oklahoma?

TULSA, Okla. — Small earthquakes happen daily in Oklahoma, nearly all of which we can’t feel. Once we get to a magnitude 3.0 tremor or stronger, they start to be felt over at least small distances from the epicenter.

Using 3.0 Magnitude as a threshold, here’s a breakdown of the numbers:

  • Back in 2015, Oklahoma recorded a whopping 887 quakes of that strength
  • In 2016, we had 639 tremors including the record-breaking 5.8 M in Pawnee that many of us distinctly felt
  • In 2017, our earthquake activity dropped off almost threefold from the year before with just 272 3.0 M quakes
  • In 2018, we only had 166 earthquakes. That was the last year a tremor of 4.5 M or greater occurred.
  • In 2019, that number dropped to 57 and last year, we only had 36 3.0 M quakes statewide. We haven’t had one that could be really be felt since last summer in Green Country.
  • For the first four weeks of 2021: 5 at or above a 3.0 Magnitude have occurred with the strongest being two 4.2 M earthquakes. One on February 5th about 3 miles WNW of Lucien and one on the 19th about 4 miles to the SW of Manchester.

Now earthquakes aren’t completely dependent upon the weather or time of year -- with a few exceptions -- but they do tend to come in clusters.

That last small cluster of earthquakes noted in Green Country occurred near the town of Quinton in far northeast Pittsburg County at the end of last year. All of those earthquakes were around 2.2 Magnitude in strength at a depth of several miles below ground.

Michael Grogan, FOX23 Severe Weather Team

Mike is a native Tulsan and thrilled to continue his career in Green Country here at FOX23. From tornado outbreaks to winter storms, he has forecasted it all in Tulsa since April 2011. Before that, he covered weather in the Mid-Atlantic states from Hagerstown, Maryland.